In 1975 the National Book Award Fiction Prize was awarded to two writers: Robert Stone and Thomas Williams. Yet only Stone's Dog Soldiers is still remembered today. That oversight is startling when considering the literary impact of The Hair of Harold Roux. A dazzlingly crafted novel-within-a-novel hailed as a masterpiece, it deserves a new generation of readers. In The Hair of Harold Roux, we are introduced to Aaron Benham: college professor, writer, husband, and father. Aaron-when he can focus-is at
work on a novel, The Hair of Harold Roux, a thinly disguised autobiographical account of his college days. In Aaron's novel, his alter ego, Allard Benson, courts a young woman, despite the efforts of his rival, the earnest and balding Harold Roux-a GI recently returned from World War II with an unfortunate hairpiece. What unfolds through Aaron's mind, his past and present, and his nested narratives is a fascinating exploration of sex and friendship, responsibility and regret, youth and middle age, and the essential fictions that see us through.
"Williams's novel is terrific: it is sweet, funny and sexy ... Williams is an accomplished magician."-Newsweek
"Everywhere the language flows from the purest vernacular to the elevations demanded by distilled perception. Our largest sympathies are roused, tormented and consoled."-Washington Post Book World
"A wonderfully old-fashioned writer ... that dinosaur among contemporary writers of fiction, an actual storyteller."-John Irving