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Robert Stone (Robert Anthony Stone) Biography

(1937– ), (Robert Anthony Stone), New York Daily News, A Hall of Mirrors, Dog Soldiers

vietnam novel york novelist

American novelist, born in Brooklyn; he worked for the New York Daily News while attending New York University. At Stanford he met Ken Kesey, becoming an associate of his during the mid-1960s. Drugs and alcohol are prominent in Stone's novels, sometimes represented by hallucinatory passages, as in A Hall of Mirrors (1967) in which three drifters come to New Orleans and are involved in violence following a right-wing rally. In 1971 Stone went to Vietnam as a journalist; American moral and military defeat forms the backdrop to his most celebrated work, Dog Soldiers (1974, National Book Award), in which an ex-marine returning from Vietnam agrees to smuggle heroin, and is pursued to a shoot-out on the Mexican/Californian border by dubious narcotics agents. Fine detailing of the drug culture gives conviction to Stone's metaphors of individual and state corruption. A Flag for Sunrise (1981) also attracted much praise, the diverse motivations and connected fates of three Americans in ‘Tecan’ reflecting upon the USA's ambiguous involvement in Central America. A novel satirizing Hollywood, Children of Light (1986), was less successful. Outerbridge Reach (1992) was controversial for the use of material concerning the real-life disappearance of the lone yachtsman Donald Crowhurst during a round-the-world race. None the less, Stone's position as a leading novelist has been well earned for the skill with which he imbues the novel of action with moral and political dimensions. See also Vietnam Writing.

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