Havanas in Camelot: Personal Essays

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Random House, 2008 - Literary Collections - 162 pages
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After the great success in 1990 ofDarkness Visible, his memoir of depression and recovery, William Styron wrote more frequently in an introspective, autobiographical mode. Havanas in Camelot brings together fourteen of his personal essays, including a reminiscence of his brief friendship with John F. Kennedy; a recollection of the power and ceremony on display at the inauguration of François Mitterrand; memoirs of Truman Capote, James Baldwin, and Terry Southern; a meditation on Mark Twain; an account of Styron’s daily walks with his dog; and an evocation of his summer home on Martha’s Vineyard.

Styron’s essays touch on the great themes of his fiction–racial oppression, slavery, and the Holocaust–but for the most part they address other subjects: bowdlerizations of history, literary lists, childhood moviegoing, the censoring of his own work, and the pursuit of celebrity fetish objects.

These essays, which reveal a reflective and humorous side of Styron’s nature, make possible a fuller assessment of this enigmatic man of American letters.

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Havanas in Camelot: Personal Essays

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America lost one of its great writers in 2006. Styron, perhaps best remembered as the author of Sophie's Choice and The Confessions of Nat Turner, published several other books of note as well as ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

William Styron (1925-2006) , a native of the Virginia Tidewater, was a graduate of Duke University and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. His books include Lie Down in Darkness, The Long March, Set This House on Fire, The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie’s Choice, This Quiet Dust, Darkness Visible, and A Tidewater Morning. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Howells Medal, the American Book Award, the Légion d’Honneur, and the Witness to Justice Award from the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation. With his wife, the poet and activist Rose Styron, he lived for most of his adult life in Roxbury, Connecticut, and in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, where he is buried.

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