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William Styron Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Confessions of Nat Turner (1951)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lie Down in Darkness (1951)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Long March (1952)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Set This House On Fire (1960)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sophie's Choice (1979)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shadrach (1979)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Inheritance of Night (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mr Jefferson and our times (1984)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Plays

In the Clap Shack (1973)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

This Quiet Dust: And Other Writings (1982)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Tidewater Morning (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Long March and In the Clap Shack (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Suicide Run: Five Tales of the Marine Corps (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Conversations with William Styron (1985)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Darkness Visible (1990)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fathers and Daughters (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Havanas in Camelot (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Letters to My Father (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Selected Letters of William Styron (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
My Generation (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

William Styron is a bestselling author of literary fiction that was best known for his controversial novel “The Confessions of Nat Turner.”

The author was born in Newport News in 1925, as the only child of shipyard engineer William ClarkStyron. His father had deep roots in the south and in fact, his mother was the owner of some slaves when she was just a child.

His mother was Paulin Styron who came from very early immigrants to Pennsylvania. William had a very idyllic childhood as he was loved by his family and spent much of his time reading.

During this time, he used to explore the waterfront and several interesting places in Newport News and made all manner of friends. In 1940, his parents sent him to a small preparatory in Virginia from where he graduated in 1942.

The Second World War would significantly shape his college life, as he started at the conservative Christian school at Davidson College, soon after getting into the reserve officer training program with the Marines.

However, since he did not like the school’s strict academic and religious standards he soon transferred to Duke. He would then join active duty in 1944 and by December 1945, he was discharged having risen to the rank of second lieutenant.

In the Fall, William Styron went back to Duke, where he reconnected with his writing mentor Professor Willaim Blackburn. By 1947, he graduated even as he had developed a disdain for literary criticism as he was determined to become an author.
Styron would then move to New York which he believed had a more congenial intellectual life. After he was done writing “Lie Down in Darkness,” he rejoined the Marines in 1951.

Following his win of the Prix de Rome prize which granted him 12 months of paid residency at the Rome-based American Academy, he spent much of his summer in Paris.

The interlude gave him much time to do other things including founding “The Paris Review.” It was from this organization that he made many lifelong friends with the literary community in the city.

Some of the people that he met during this time include Irwin Shaw, George Plimpton, and Peter Matthiessen. The interlude also gave him much-needed time that he used to pen “The Long March.”

His residency in Rome would provide much of the material that he would then put to use in the writing of “Set This House on Fire.” It was also in Rome that he met Rose Burgunder, who would, later on, become his wife.

When William Styron and Rose his new life settled and began raising a family in their farmhouse in Connecticut, he finally had the ideal life of an aspiring writer.

He was sociable yet protected, and productive yet relaxed, which provided a lot of order and regularity that made it easier to write.

He used to sleep in until noon, then think and read in bed for about an hour before having lunch with his wife at about 1:30 pm. He would listen to music, reply to the mail, run errands, and then begin writing which he would do for about four hours.

He would then have dinner and cocktails with friends and family until about 9 pm and then stay up to 3 reading, drinking listening to music, and smoking.

With Rose guarding his door, organizing their social life, looking after the kids, running the household, and preventing any interruptions, he was able to churn out a lot of writing over the course of three decades.
He preferred writing novels but sometimes also found time for movie scripts, novellas, reviews, essays short stories, and plays. Some of his best pieces he compiled in “This Quiet Dust and Other Writings.”

“Sophie’s Choice,” by William Styron is really two novels combined into one as the present intersects with the past.

One part is the tribulations and trials of Polish citizen Sophie Zawistowska, who is taken by the Nazis to Auschwitz during the Second World War. The other part is the story of a young writer from Brooklyn struggling to write a great American novel.

It was while he was a boarder at the Pink Palace that Stingo first met Sophie who was then with Nathan Landau her lover. He for the most part just heard them noisily making love in the room above him.

As expected, he had to listen to their lustful consummations even as he had to suffer from unmitigated and inflamed passions. In that state, it was all too easy to start believing that everyone was getting laid and start pitying oneself for his failure.

He is a twenty-two-year-old man that has a high libido and is also looking to rid himself of the malady of virginity.

His yearning to end his involuntary celibacy and have intercourse with a woman soon starts affecting his ability to write and achieve his dreams.

William Styrone’s novel “The Confessions of Nat Turner,” tells the story of Nat Turner, a literate slave who is raised in the house of Benjamin Turner as a house slave.
He is treated as a black jewel above the field slaves but is not immune to human tragedy. As such he is devastated when his mother dies when he is just 14.

Meanwhile, his owner has been debating the vagaries of slavery with family and friends and believes the invention of machines would quickly eradicate the evil institution.

When the man dies, Marse Samuel, his brother helps Nat qualify s a carpenter, and by the time he is 25, he is emancipated. But an economic downturn means his future is not immediately bright.

He is sold to different owners, many of them not so benevolent. In the midst of a lot of uncertainty, Nat develops a relationship with Margaret Whitehead and a passion for the Bible.

He soon becomes known by many whites and blacks alike as Rev. Turner. With his religious underpinning and seething resentment at the brutal and sometimes tragic treatment of fellow blacks, he sets in motion a plan for a violent rebellion.

“Lie Down in Darkness” by William Styron is the author’s debut novel, telling a tragic story that resonates with the painful sense of the arbitrariness of fate and sadness.

Peyton Loftis had been born into a very comfortable family in Virginia. She has stunning good looks, a fine mind, a wry sense of humor, exceptional poise, and a lofty spirit.

While she should have had a very good life, she has always been tormented by a sense of unworthy love and being unloved.

Peyton grows from a totally captivating and precocious little girl to a celebrated and adored college girl. But soon enough she is bewildered and lost Bohemian who does not know how to navigate the north with its alien-like cities.
She is a bewitching debutante who has always seen herself as being among the elite in society but she finds herself a poor fit in the modern world in the north.

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