Darkness visible: a memoir of madness

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Vintage Books, 1990 - Biography & Autobiography - 84 pages
1109 Reviews
A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.

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Review: Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

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Read this the first time the year it was published and have autographed copy from when Styron came to VCU. Read it again this summer during a bad spell with depression. Helps to know you're not the only one and how strangely the disorder affects people. Read full review

Review: Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

User Review  - Goodreads

Like the author, I too suffer from depression, which I have been able to treat somewhat successfully with SSRI's. Styron's harrowing account of his onset of clinical-style depression at the age of 60 ... Read full review

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About the author (1990)

William Styron, 1925 - William Clark Styron was born June 11, 1925 in Newport News, Virginia to William Clark Styron, a marine engineer, and Pauline Abraham Styron, who died when he was thirteen years old. He was a descendent of the Stioring family that arrived in Virginia in 1650. He attended Duke University and took courses at the New School for Social Research in New York City, which started him on his writing career. Styron was a Marine lieutenant during World War II and while serving during the Korean War, was recalled from active duty because of faulty eyesight. In 1953, he married Rose Burgunder in Rome and they had four children. During high school, Styron wrote short stories for the school's newspaper. While attending college, he wrote poems for the literary magazine. After leaving the service, he helped start a magazine called the Paris Review in the city of lights and remained as an advisory editor. Styron's first novel was "Lie Down in Darkness" (1951) and was followed by "The Long March" (1955). In 1960, he published "Set This House on Fire," which tells how American expatriates got along in Italy during the 1950's. "The Confessions of Nat Turner" (1967), which won the Pulitzer Prize, tells the story in the narrative voice of the real life black leader during the 1831 slave uprising in Virginia. Perhaps the novel he's best known for is "Sophie's Choice" (1979), which tells the story of Sophie, who, during the Holocaust, had to choose between one of the lives of her two healthy children. The novel was made into a movie in 1982 and won the American Book Award. "A Tidewater Morning" (1993) is a short story that tells of an elderly former slave who travels by foot back to Virginia to be buried where he grew up. The movie Shadrach is based on this story, and Styron wrote the screenplay with his daughter. Styron has also written nonfiction and include the titles "The Quiet Dust and Other Writings" (1982) and "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness" (1990).

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