- NAME: William Styron
- OCCUPATION: Author
- BIRTH DATE: June 11, 1925
- DEATH DATE: November 01, 2006
- EDUCATION: Duke University, Christchurch School, New School for Social Research
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Newport News, Virginia
- PLACE OF DEATH: Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
- AKA: William Clark Styron
- Full Name: William Clark Styron Jr.
- AKA: William Styron
Best Known For
Novelist William Styron won a Pulitzer Prize for The Confessions of Nat Turner and wrote Sophie’s Choice, the basis of an Academy Award-winning film.
William Styron - Confessions (2:09)
Wiliam Styron is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of "The Confessions of Nat Turner."As a white author wiring about African American issues, Styron faced criticism from both sides. Video courtesy of Open Road Media.
Authors Henry Louis Gates, Alice Walker and others discuss African-American literature and its role in the Civil Rights movement.
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In the late spring of 1953, the couple wed in Rome. William and Rose would go on to have a son and three daughters, among them Alexandra Styron, who would grow up to become a writer like her father, and one day pen the memoir Reading My Father in his honor.
In 1956, Styron published a novella called The Long March, inspired by his second Marine tour. He produced his next novel, Set This House on Fire, in 1960, which many readers found disappointing. In 1967, Styron faced controversy when he published The Confessions of Nat Turner, based on the real-life experiences of a slave who rebelled. Despite this upset, the book won a Pulitzer Prize the following year.
Styron encountered similar mixed responses from his readers when he published a book about a Holocaust survivor in 1979, Sophie's Choice. The book was made into an Academy Award-winning film starring Meryl Streep in 1982. The same year that the film was released, Styron published This Quiet Dust and Other Writings, a collection of his best non-fiction works. He also began a novel called The Way of the Warrior during the 1980s, but struggled to complete it.
Styron continued to write throughout the 1990s. His work during that decade included Darkness Visible: a Memoir of Madness and the short-story trilogy A Tidewater Morning: Three Tales from Youth.
In 2002, Styron approved Nicholas Maw's operatic version of his novel Sophie's Choice. Maw invited Styron to write the opera's libretto, but Styron declined.
William Styron died of pneumonia on November 1, 2006, on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
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