A strong case for Stone as an articulate and passionate moralist
In this guide to the fiction of Robert Stone, Gregory Stephenson introduces readers to a novelist of popular appeal and critical acclaim whom he describes as an anomaly among contemporary American writers—an author independent of literary fashions, unaffiliated with groups or movements. In this critical survey, Stephenson identifies the qualities that separate Stone from his peers and have brought him accolades such as the National Book Award, earning him a place of enduring significance in the American canon.
Stephenson provides close readings of Stone's novels and short stories, including A Hall of Mirrors, Dog Soldiers, A Flag for Sunrise, Children of Light, Outerbridge Reach, and Damascus Gate. He traces the combination of a stark, hard-boiled realism with the hallucinatory and mystical aspects of Stone's writing. His examination of Stone's attention to character, imagery, and figures of speech stands beside his suggestion that Stone's corpus reveals a coherent, evolving vision of moral, psychological, political, and metaphysical concerns.
Gregory Stephenson grew up in Colorado and Arizona and has lived in Denmark since 1972. The author of several books about postwar American and English literature, he is coeditor (with his wife, Birgit) of Pearl, an international literary journal. Stephenson lives in Copenhagen.