Robert Stone, 1937–, American novelist, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. He was briefly (1971) a correspondent in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) during the Vietnam War. His experiences there helped form the basis for his best-known novel, Dog Soldiers (1974, National Book Award), which was filmed as Who'll Stop the Rain (1978) with a screenplay by Stone. The book is an account of Vietnam-related drug smuggling, brutality, and disenchantment. Stone's philosophical bent, vividly gritty style, and edgy wit are evident in his portrayals of some of American life's darker aspects. His characters often fruitlessly attempt to deal with inescapable events, and the ghost of the Vietnam conflict hovers over much of his fiction. His other works include A Hall of Mirrors (1967), A Flag for Sunrise (1981), Children of Light (1986), Outerbridge Reach (1992), and Bear and His Daughter: Stories (1997). His acclaimed novel Damascus Gate (1998) is a probing story of religion-based conflicts in contemporary Jerusalem; it was followed by the novel Bay of Souls (2003) and the stories of Fun with Problems (2010).
See his memoir (2007); studies by R. Solotaroff (1994) and G. Stephenson (2002).