Why did mainstream America come to accept marriage equality? Gay leaders had made a convincing case that gay families were like straight families and should have the same rights. The American spirit of fair play had been invoked.
Compared to John Williams’s earlier novels, Augustus—the last work to be published by the author, poet, and professor whose once-neglected Stoner has become an international literary sensation in recent years—can seem like an oddity. The novel’s subject—the life and history-changing career of the first emperor of Rome—seems impossibly remote from the distinctly American preoccupations of Williams’s other mature works.