The life of an undistinguished English professor struggling with a failed marriage and the resentment of a powerful colleague who intends to ruin his career.
Needless to say, Stoner is one of those depressing novels that makes you fear your life might turn out to be a failure as well.
I certainly enjoyed the contrast between the main character's outward and inward life. The former is reflected in his very last name, Stoner, while the latter is like a sea in constant motion.
Unfortunately, Williams' style does not live up to his ideas. I found that the writing tended to say either too little or too much, and ultimately failed to deliver some of the insights I expected from him.
Around the same time, a writer like Richard Yates was writing about similar issues, but in a more precise and perceptive manner than Williams.