Styron, William

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Styron, William,

1925–2006, American novelist, b. Newport News, Va., grad. Duke, 1947. His fiction is often powerful, deeply felt, poetic, and elegiac. He became well known for his novel The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967; Pulitzer Prize), a fictional recreation of the 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia led by Nat TurnerTurner, Nat,
1800–1831, American slave, leader of the Southampton Insurrection (1831), b. Southampton co., Va. Deeply religious from childhood, Turner was a natural preacher and possessed some influence among local slaves.
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. Because Styron's account does not strictly adhere to historical fact and because he was a white man depicting a black man's experiences, the novel elicited harsh criticism, especially from African-American intellectuals. Styron's other novels include Lie Down in Darkness (1951), Set This House on Fire (1960), and the best-selling Sophie's Choice (1979; film, 1982), the post–World War II tale of a Polish emigré living in Brooklyn, N.Y., and struggling with her haunting history as an Auschwitz survivor. Styron also wrote short stories, novellas, a screenplay, and a play; A Tidewater Morning: Three Tales from Youth (1993) is a trilogy of autobiographical novellas. Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness (1990) describes Styron's harrowing 1980s bout with clinical depression. Essays, reviews, and occasional pieces were collected in This Quiet Dust and Other Writings (1982), and mainly autobiographical essays in Havanas in Camelot (2008); his collected nonfiction was published as My Generation (2015).

Bibliography

See conversations ed. by J. L. W. West 3d (1985); selected letters ed. by R. Styron, his wife (2012); memoir by A. Styron, his daughter (2011); biography by J. L. W. West 3d (1998); studies by M. J. Friedman (1974), R. K. Morries and I. Malin, ed. (2d ed. 1981), A. D. Casciato and J. L. W. West 3d, ed. (1982), J. K. Crane (1985), J. Ruderman (1987), S. L. Murthy (1988), S. Coale (1991), G. Cologne-Brookes (1995), E. Herion-Sarafidis (1995), and D. W. Ross, ed. (1995).

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Styron, William

(1925–  ) writer; born in Newport News, Va. He attended Duke (B.A., 1947) and studied writing at the New School for Social Research. He was an associate editor for McGraw-Hill Book Company in New York City (1947). He gained critical praise for his first novel, Lie Down in Darkness (1951), and went on to write such notable works as The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), and Sophie's Choice (1979). He lived in Roxbury, Conn., and summered in Vineyard Haven, Mass.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
"The South Encounters the Holocaust: William Styron's Sophie's Choice." Review of Sophie's Choice, by William Styron.
The Selected Letters of William Styron reflect the man.
These texts, specifically, include Thomas Gray's 1831 document The Confessions of Nat Turner (which serves as a literal inter-text within Baker's graphic narrative), William Styron's controversial 1967 novel The Confessions of Nat Turner, and the responses to Styron's novel recorded in John Hendrik Clarke's William Styron's Nat Turner: Ten Black Writers Respond.
Open Road has digitally published and marketed ebooks from authors such as James Jones, William Styron, Pat Conroy, Josephine Hart and Scott Spencer; mystery, thrillers and crime fiction writers including Carl Hiaasen and Jack Higgins; writers of non-fiction like James Gleick and Rachel Carson; and children's authors such as Virginia Hamilton.
Dermot was being clever, but not really very clever, by invoking the choice faced by Sophie Zawistowska, William Styron's fictional Holocaust survivor - whether to save her son or daughter from annihilation at Auschwitz.
In Sophie's Choice, he grappled with "some of the biggest horrors we've ever seen on the face of the earth." Based on William Styron's 1979 novel, it's the story of a Polish-Catholic Holocaust survivor who was forced by a sadistic Nazi doctor at Auschwitz to choose which of her two children would live and which would die.
He also examines relations between African-American men in William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner and in Arna Bontemps's Black Thunder.
Gaines, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Lillian Hellman, Katherine Anne Porter, Margaret Walker, William Styron, and Arna Bontemps.
Chapters six and seven explore the queer intimacy between black men depicted in William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner and Arna Bontemps's Black Thunder.
Reference is made to William Styron's Sophie's Choice Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev and even George Orwell's Animal Farm.