Dow Mossman published his first novel, a coming-of-age tale called The Stones of Summer, in 1972 and was never heard from again. Until now. Thanks to Stone Reader, the documentary about a fan's quest for the enigmatic author, Mossman's book is back in print -- and back in the spotlight.
Read the interview
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Date of Birth:
April 10, 1943
Place of Birth:
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2 years at Coe College; B.A., University of Iowa; M.F.A., Iowa Writers' Workshop, 1969
Book of the Month Club Fellowship, 1967
|A Book Brought Back to Life|
|The Stones of Summer|
A sweeping story chronicling three decades in the life of 1950s teenager Dawes Williams, Mossman's first and only novel became a cult classic of sorts in 1972 and garnered a rave review from The New York Times Book Review. Said critic John Seelye, "The Stones of Summer is a holy book, and it burns with a sacred Byzantine fire, a generational fire, moon-fire, stone-fire."
|A Fan's Film|
|When Mark Moskowitz rediscovered The Stones of Summer in 1998 -- years after shelving it as a teenager -- he set out to read everything Dow Mossman had ever written. He discovered, to his surprise, that Stones was Mossman's one and only book -- and that it had been out of print for years. Moskowitz became determined to seek out the author -- who was as hard to find as the book itself. |
The intrepid fan filmed his odyssey, which became the award-winning documentary Stone Reader -- hailed by New York magazine as "a marvelous literary thriller that gets at the way books can stay with people forever." And not only did Moskowitz find Mossman -- the film's buzz brought back The Stones of Summer for a whole new generation of readers to discover.
|From our Interview: Favorite Writers & Reads|
|The Twelve Caesars|
In our exclusive interview with Mossman, he mentioned the Greek philosopher Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars as a favorite work, calling it "a book I've been pushing at others for a long while and without enough success."
|To the Finland Station|
Mossman also revealed to us that Edmund Wilson is an author he admires, choosing his revolutionary work To the Finland Station as a particular favorite. "As always, where did he even get it, let alone construct and disravel it? In one lifetime, also," Mossman reflects.