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9780385541602

Child of Light

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780385541602

  • ISBN10:

    0385541600

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2020-03-17
  • Publisher: Doubleday

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Summary

The first and definitive biography of one of the great American novelists of the postwar era, the author of Dog Soldiers and A Flag for Sunrise, and a penetrating critic of American power, innocence, and corruption

Robert Stone (1937-2015), probably the only postwar American writer to draw favorable comparisons to Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene, and Joseph Conrad, lived a life rich in adventure, achievement, and inner turmoil. He grew up rough on the streets of New York, the son of a mentally troubled single mother. After his Navy service in the fifties, which brought him to such locales as pre-Castro Havana, the Suez Crisis, and Antarctica, he studied writing at Stanford, where he met Ken Kesey and became a core member of the gang of Merry Pranksters. The publication of his superb New Orleans novel, Hall of Mirrors (1967), initiated a succession of dark-humored novels that investigated the American experience in Vietnam (Dog Soldiers, 1974, which won the National Book Award), Central America (A Flag for Sunrise, 1981), and Jerusalem on the eve of the millennium (Damascus Gate, 1998).

An acclaimed novelist himself, Madison Smartt Bell was a close friend and longtime admirer of Robert Stone. His authorized and deeply researched biography is both intimate and objective, a rich and unsparing portrait of a complicated, charismatic, and haunted man and a sympathetic reading of his work that will help to secure Stone's place in the pantheon of major American writers.

Author Biography

MADISON SMARTT BELL is the author of numerous novels, including All Souls Rising (1995), nominated for a National Book Award and the Pen/Faulkner Prize, and Freedom's Gate (2007), a biography of the Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L'Ouverture. He teaches writing at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, and is married to the poet Elizabeth Spires.

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