William Styron: A Life

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Open Road Media, Aug 17, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 506 pages

A “mesmerizing” biography of the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Sophie’s Choice, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and Darkness Visible (Entertainment Weekly).

William Styron was one of the most highly regarded and controversial authors of his generation. In this illuminating biography, James L. W. West III draws upon letters, papers, and manuscripts as well as interviews with Styron’s friends and family to recount in rich detail the experiences that shaped each of his groundbreaking books. From Styron’s Southern upbringing, which deeply influenced the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Confessions of Nat Turner and National Book Award–winning Sophie’s Choice, to his feud with Norman Mailer and the clinical depression that led to his acclaimed memoir Darkness Visible, West’s remarkable biography provides invaluable insight into the life and works of a giant of American literature.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kerns222 - LibraryThing

Styron was one of our American writers who matured in WW2. Afterwords he duked it out (verbally) with Mailer and knew Vonnegut, Jones, Cheever, Yates, and some of the others. He did Chicago in 68 ... Read full review

WILLIAM STYRON: A Life

User Review  - Kirkus

This meticulously crafted, well-paced biography should go a long way toward burnishing Styron's reputation. Unlike most modern novelists of acknowledged weight, Styron has also enjoyed enormous ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
Preamble
Ancestors
Youth
Newport News
Paulines Death
Fourteenth Year
Christchurch
The Long March
Rome
Marriage and Ravello
New York and Roxbury
Mailer and Others
Completion
Set This House on Fire
Reentry

Davidson
Duke and William Blackburn
Marines First Stint
After the
McGrawHill
Durham and Flatbush
Valley Cottage and West Eightyeighth Street
Marines Second Stint
Lie Down in Darkness
Paris 1952
Preparations
Composition
The Confessions of Nat Turner
Aftermath
Interlude
Sophies Choice
Breakdown
A Tidewater Morning
Acknowledgments
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

James L. W. West III, a native of Virginia, is Sparks Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University. West is a book historian, scholarly editor, and biographer.  He has written books on F. Scott Fitzgerald and on the history of professional authorship in America and has held fellowships from the J. S. Guggenheim Foundation, the National Humanities Center, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  West has had Fulbright appointments in England (at Cambridge University) and in Belgium (at the Université de Liège). He is the general editor of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and is at work on a volume of essays.

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