William Styron

William Styron

William Clark Styron Jr. (June 11, 1925 – November 1, 2006) was an American novelist and essayist who won major literary awards for his work. Styron was best known for his novels, including: Lie Down in Darkness (1951), his acclaimed first work, published when he was 26; The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), narrated by Nat Turner, the leader of an 1831 Virginia slave revolt; Sophie's Choice (1979), a story "told through the eyes of a young aspiring writer from the South, about a Polish Catholic survivor of Auschwitz and her brilliant but psychotic Jewish lover in postwar Brooklyn". In 1985, he had his first serious bout with depression. Once he recovered from his illness, Styron was able to write the memoir Darkness Visible (1990), the work for which he became best known during the last two decades of his life. Styron was born in the Hilton Village historic district of Newport News, Virginia, the son of Pauline Margaret (Abraham) and William Clark Styron. He grew up in the South and was steeped in its history. His birthplace was less than a hundred miles from the site of Nat Turner's slave rebellion, later the source for Styron's most famous and controversial novel. Styron's Northern mother and liberal Southern father gave him a broad perspective on race relations. Styron's childhood was a difficult one. His father, a shipyard engineer, had clinical depression, which Styron himself would later experience. His mother died from breast cancer in 1939 when Styron was still a boy, following her decade-long battle with the disease. Styron attended public school in Warwick County, first at Hilton School and then at Morrison High School (now known as Warwick High School) for two years, until his father sent him to Christchurch School, an Episcopal college-preparatory school in the Tidewater region of Virginia. Styron once said, "But of all the schools I attended...only Christchurch ever commanded something more than mere respect—which is to say, my true and abiding affection." Upon graduation, Styron enrolled in Davidson College and joined Phi Delta Theta. By the age of eighteen he was reading the writers who would have a lasting influence on his vocation as a novelist and writer, especially Thomas Wolfe. Styron transferred to Duke University in 1943 as a part of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps V-12 program aimed at fast-tracking officer candidates by enrolling them simultaneously in basic training and bachelor's degree programs. There he published his first fiction, a short story heavily influenced by William Faulkner, in an anthology of student work. Styron published several short stories in the university literary magazine, The Archive, between 1944 and 1946. Though Styron was made a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, the Japanese surrendered before his ship left San Francisco. After the war, he returned to full-time studies at Duke and completed his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English in 1947. ... Source: Article "William Styron" from Wikipedia in English, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.
    Known for
    Writing
    Place of birth
    Newport News, Virginia, USA
    Birthday
    6/11/1925
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