William Styron (June 11, 1925 - November 01, 2006)
Born: 11th June, 1925
Died: 1st November, 2006
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: Newport News, Virginia, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Notable works: "The Confessions of Nat Turner", "Sophie's Choice", "Darkness Visible", "Havanas in Camelot", "Lie Down in Darkness", "The Long March", "This Quiet Dust"

William Styron Facts

Biography

William Styron, (born June 11, 1925, Newport News, Virginia, U.S.--died November 1, 2006, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts), American novelist noted for his treatment of tragic themes and his use of a rich, classical prose style.

Styron served in the U.S. Marine Corps before graduating from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, in 1947. During the 1950s he was part of the community of American expatriates in Paris. In 1953 he became an advisory editor to the Paris Review.

Styron's first novel, Lie Down in Darkness (1951), set in his native tidewater Virginia, tells of a young woman from a loveless middle-class family who fights unsuccessfully for her sanity before committing suicide. His next work, The Long March (1956), chronicles a brutal forced march undertaken by recruits in a Marine training camp. The novel Set This House on Fire, complexly structured and set largely in Italy, appeared in 1960.

Styron's fourth novel, The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), is an account of a historical incident, a slave rebellion led by the title character in Virginia in 1831. Based on a transcript of Turner's testimony and told from his point of view, the book sympathetically portrays a man who is denied happiness because of his degrading enslavement. Embittered and alienated, he undertakes a bloody revolt that ends in his capture and execution. The novel's publication at the peak of the civil rights movement helped make it a best seller. It was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1968, but it also stirred wide controversy, with critics accusing the book of racism and of misrepresenting African American history.

Styron's final novel, Sophie's Choice (1979; filmed 1982), portrays the growth of a friendship between a young Southern writer and a Roman Catholic woman from Poland who survived the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. It too became a controversial best seller. His other works include the play In the Clap Shack (1972) and This Quiet Dust (1982), a collection of essays that treat the dominant themes of Styron's fiction. Darkness Visible (1990) is a nonfiction account of Styron's struggle against depression. A Tidewater Morning (1993) consists of autobiographical stories. Havanas in Camelot (2008), a collection of personal essays on topics ranging from the author's friendship with Pres. John F. Kennedy to his morning walks with his dog, was published posthumously. Compilations of his correspondence were issued as Letters to My Father (2009) and Selected Letters of William Styron (2012).

Top 12 William Styron quotes

The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis.
Age
Always
Any
Been
Good
Good writing
Neurosis
Product
Someone
Writing
Most books, like their authors, are born to die; of only a few books can it be said that death has no dominion over them; they live, and their influence lives forever.
Authors
Books
Born
Death
Die
Dominion
Few
Forever
Influence
Like
Live
Lives
Most
Only
A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted. You should live several lives while reading it.
Book
Exhausted
Experiences
Great
Great book
Leave
Live
Lives
Many
Reading
Several
Should
Slightly
While
If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new.
Anything
Find
Least
New
Pleasant
Shall
Something
Something new
Very
I get a fine warm feeling when I'm doing well, but that pleasure is pretty much negated by the pain of getting started each day. Let's face it, writing is hell.
Day
Doing
Each
Each day
Face
Feeling
Fine
Get
Getting
Getting started
Hell
Much
Pain
Pleasure
I think it's unfortunate to have critics for friends.
Critics
Friends
I think
Think
Unfortunate
The writer's duty is to keep on writing.
Duty
Keep
Writer
Writing
Let's face it, writing is hell.
Face
Hell
Writing
Reading - the best state yet to keep absolute loneliness at bay.
Absolute
Bay
Best
Keep
Loneliness
Reading
State
Writing is a fine therapy for people who are perpetually scared of nameless threats... for jittery people.
Fine
People
Perpetually
Scared
Therapy
Threats
Who
Writing
And so we came forth, and once again beheld the stars.
Again
Came
Forth
Once
Stars
Mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from natural experience, the gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain.
Depression
Experience
Gray
Horror
Induced
Natural
Pain
Physical
Physical pain
Quality
Remote
Takes
Totally
Ways

William Styron essays

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