Thomas Williams (writer)

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Thomas Williams
Thomas Williams (writer).jpg
Born(1926-11-15)November 15, 1926
Duluth, Minnesota, United States
DiedOctober 23, 1990(1990-10-23) (aged 63)
Dover, New Hampshire, United States
Occupation Novelist, Short story writer
Genrefiction
Notable worksThe Hair of Harold Roux; Leah, New Hampshire

Thomas Williams (November 15, 1926 October 23, 1990) was an American novelist. [1] He won one U.S. National Book Award for FictionThe Hair of Harold Roux split the 1975 award with Robert Stone's Dog Soldiers [2] [3] [4] —and his last published novel, Moon Pinnace (1986), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. [5]

A novelist is an author or writer of novels, though often novelists also write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction. Some novelists are professional novelists, thus make a living writing novels and other fiction, while others aspire to support themselves in this way or write as an avocation. Most novelists struggle to get their debut novel published, but once published they often continue to be published, although very few become literary celebrities, thus gaining prestige or a considerable income from their work.

The National Book Award for Fiction is one of four annual National Book Awards, which recognize outstanding literary work by United States citizens. Since 1987 the awards have been administered and presented by the National Book Foundation, but they are awards "by writers to writers". The panelists are five "writers who are known to be doing great work in their genre or field".

Robert Stone (novelist) novelist

Robert Stone was an American novelist.

Contents

Life and work

Born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1926, [6] Williams' family moved to New Hampshire when he was a child and he spent most of his life working and writing in that state, although he attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the University of Chicago, and studied briefly in Paris. For most of his career he taught at the University of New Hampshire, and published eight novels during his lifetime. [5] His students included among them Alice McDermott and John Irving. [7] Irving wrote an introduction to a posthumous collection of Williams's collected stories, Leah, New Hampshire (1992). [8]

New Hampshire U.S. state in the United States

New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. New Hampshire is the 5th smallest by area and the 10th least populous U.S. state.

Iowa Writers Workshop MFA degree granting program

The Program in Creative Writing, more commonly known as the Iowa Writers' Workshop, at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, is a celebrated graduate-level creative writing program in the United States. Writer Lan Samantha Chang is its director. Graduates earn a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Creative Writing. It has been cited as the best graduate writing program in the nation, counting among its alumni 17 Pulitzer Prize winners.

University of Chicago Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, the school is located on a 217-acre campus in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, near Lake Michigan. The University of Chicago holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.

Williams lived in Durham, NH and died of lung cancer at a hospital in Dover, NH when he was 63. [1]

Lung cancer cancer in the lung

Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth can spread beyond the lung by the process of metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in the lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas. The two main types are small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The most common symptoms are coughing, weight loss, shortness of breath, and chest pains.

Williams is the father of writer and novelist Ann Joslin Williams who is the author of a collection of linked stories called The Woman in the Woods, which won the 2005 Spokane Prize. [9] Joslin Williams' first novel Down From Cascom Mountain, was published in 2011. Like her father, she attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and (as of 2011) is a Professor at the University of New Hampshire. [9]

Reception and legacy

Because he'd received one of the major US book awards in 1975 and because he was admired as a university writing instructor (as some of his former students can attest), Thomas Williams was a figure of some regard during the 1970s and 1980s when it seems his reputation had reached its peak. [8] Today, Williams continues to be remembered and admired among many writers and student of the craft, but into the 21st century he remains all but unknown to the general reading public. All of his books were out of print until 2011, when The Hair of Harold Roux was reissued, sparking a renewed interest in his work. [10] Stephen King, who had earlier dedicated his 1993 story collection Nightmares & Dreamscapes to Williams, said in a 2011 interview that The Hair of Harold Roux has remained, over the years, one of his favorite books, [11] and one he returns to "again and again." [12]

Stephen King American author

Stephen Edwin King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, and fantasy novels. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television series, and comic books. King has published 61 novels and six non-fiction books. He has written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in book collections.

<i>Nightmares & Dreamscapes</i> book

Nightmares & Dreamscapes is a short story collection by American writer Stephen King, published in 1993.

Selected bibliography

I used to hang out with this guy who taught at the University of New Hampshire who was a mentor of sorts. His name was Thomas Williams [...] We often went fishing and hunting together. A good many of his friends were also writers and so when they'd get together the talk would go from rainbow trout to Eudora Welty to rough grouse. So I just kept my mouth shut. There was a lot more I was going to learn than teach in that group. Tom always said, "just say what you mean as economically as possible and get out," and that's really what I try to do with my lyrics.

Bill Morrissey, singer & songwriter [13]

Fiction
International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Posthumous publications

Further reading

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<i>The Hair of Harold Roux</i> 1974 novel written by Thomas Williams

The Hair of Harold Roux was a 1974 novel by Thomas Williams. The novel, unusually, shared the National Book Award for Fiction with Robert Stone's Dog Soldiers.

References

  1. 1 2 Fowler, Glenn (1990-10-25). "Thomas Williams Is Dead at 63; A Novelist and English Professor - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  2. "National Book Awards – 1975". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
    (With acceptance speech by Williams and essay by David Kirby from the Awards 61-year anniversary blog.)
  3. Allard, Sam. "Thomas Williams' 'The Hair of Harold Roux' deserves a rousing readership". cleveland.com. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  4. http://dgmyers.blogspot.com/2009/05/hair-of-harold-roux.html
  5. 1 2 "Thomas Williams; Award-Winning Novelist - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1990-11-06. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  6. "The Hair of Harold Roux by Thomas Williams". Ann Joslin Williams. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  7. Harrigan, Jane. "Becoming John Irving". Unhmagazine.unh.edu. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  8. 1 2 McIntyre, John. "Reconsidering Thomas Williams | Pif Magazine". Pifmagazine.com. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  9. 1 2 "Ann Joslin Williams Homepage". Ann Joslin Williams. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  10. "SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH BOOKS » Blog Archive » Thomas Williams–THE HAIR OF HAROLD ROUX". Marywhipplereviews.com. 2011-06-26. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  11. https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/04/stephen-king-on-the-creative-process-the-state-of-fiction-and-more/237023/
  12. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/books/review/stephen-king-by-the-book.html?_r=0
  13. "Bill Morrissey, Biography: Contemporary Musicians". Enotes.com. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  14. Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher (June 3, 1974). "Fictions Within Fictions:'The Hair of Harold Roux' by Thomas Williams: book review" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  15. Ulin, David L. (2011-06-19). "'The Hair of Harold Roux' by Thomas Williams: book review - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2011-07-30.