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William Styron
William Styron.jpg
Born William Clark Styron Jr.
June 11, 1925 (1925-06-11)
Newport News, Virginia, U.S.
Died November 1, 2006 (2006-12) (aged 81)
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Novelist, essayist
Nationality American
Alma mater Duke University
Period 1951–2006
Notable works Lie Down in Darkness
The Confessions of Nat Turner
Sophie's Choice
Darkness Visible
Rose Styron (m. 1953)
Children 4, including Alexandra


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 suffered from 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.

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