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Lost American Novel Is Rediscovered

The Stones of Summer

Publisher Comments:

Originally published to glowing reviews in 1972, Dow Mossman's extraordinary debut is a sweeping coming-of-age tale that developed a passionate cult following. It recently inspired the award-winning documentary film Stone Reader, described by Peter Rainer of New York magazine as "a marvelous literary thriller that gets at the way books can stay with people forever."

Rendered with breathtaking artistry and emotional depth, The Stones of Summer captures the beauty and pain of postwar America. Its vivid evocation of culture-void Iowa in the '50s and '60s reveals in layer after layer of richly observed detail the maturation ? the very soul ? of an artist. Its rediscovery was the catalyst for one filmmaker to confront his faith in the power of great literature to endure, and it can now be embraced by readers everywhere.


"The Stones of Summer cannot possibly be called a promising first novel for the simple reason that it is such a marvelous achievement that it puts forth much more than mere promise....[A] holy book [that] burns with a sacred Byzantine fire..." John Seelye, The New York Times Book Review


"As a first novel, it's roller-coaster breathtaking ? in its derring-do and in its defeats. Mossman is obsessed with language and the madcap magic it can conjure." Linton Weeks, The Washington Post


"The writing is rich, lush, a full harvest of words..." Russell W. Schoch Jr., The Los Angeles Times


"[A] charming, poignantly funny and often brilliant autobiographical novel that trumpets the arrival of a major talent." Paul Chutkow, Baltimore Sun


"[An] epic novel of the growth of a young man in the cortex and context of middle America....[Mossman's] mastery of character and dialogue is astounding." William Kowinski, Boston Phoenix


"[A] considerable talent....[Mossman] has an endless supply of comic invention, a lyrical and sweet tone as natural to his writing as the song of a bird, and a way to use, manipulate and build on the tall tale that goes to the very heart of America writing." Thomas Laks, The New York Times


The great "lost" novel is available again ? after more than 20 years ? and now there's a movie tie-in! Originally published to glowing reviews in 1972, Dow Mossman's first and only novel is a sweeping coming-of-age tale that spans three decades in the life of irrepressible 1950s teen Dawes Williams. Earning its author comparisons to no less than James Joyce, J. D. Salinger, and Mark Twain, this great American novel developed a passionate cult following ? even as it went out of print for more than 20 years. But Mark Moskowitz's recent award-winning film Stone Reader, a passionate and deeply personal tribute to the book and its author, revived interest in Mossman's magnificent achievement.

About the Author

Dow Mossman received his B.A. from the University of Iowa and his M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1969.