As the fierce lovemaking and fights of Nathan, a paranoiac Jewish intellectual, and Sophie, a Polish-Catholic concentration-camp survivor, intensify, Stingo, a writer who lives below them in a cheap rooming house, becomes more and more involved in their lives
"William Styron's My Generation: Collected Nonfiction is both unsurpassably charming and unflinchingly honest, whether recounting the fallout from The Confessions of Nat Turner or reminiscing about the slave-owning grandmother who warned him never to forget he was a Southerner."--Vogue
"At its most accomplished, Styron's non-fiction mixes a conscientious, richly traditional prose style with a strong current of fellow feeling, a certain awe at the human condition, which is what gives power to his best fiction. . . . Styron stood tall in his generation, and the best of him will stand up over time."--USA Today
"A must for every Styron fan's library."--BBC
Two extraordinary works about soldiers in a time of dubious peace by a writer of vast eloquence and moral authority. With stylistic panache and vitriolic wit, William Styron depicts conflicts between men of somewhat more than average intelligence and the military machine. In The Long March, a novella, two Marine reservists fight to retain their dignity while on a grueling exercise staged by a posturing colonel. The uproariously funny play In the Clap Shack charts the terrified passage of a young recruit through the prurient inferno of a Navy hospital VD ward. In both works, Styron wages a gallant defense of the free individual--and serves up a withering indictment of a system that has no room for individuality or freedom.
The day after Peter Leverett met his old friend Mason Flagg in Italy, Mason was found dead. The hours leading up to his death were a nightmare for Peter--both in their violence and in their maddening unreality. The blaze of events which followed was, Peter soon realized, ignited by a conflict between two men: Mason Flagg himself, and Cass Kinsolving, a tortured, self-destructive painter, a natural enemy and prey to the monstrous evil of Mason Flagg. Three events--murder, rape and suicide--explode in the is relentless and passionate novel, almost overwhelming in its conception of the varieties of good and evil."It may be one of the finest novels of our times . . . Styron, besides being a superb craftsman and a skillful, evocative artist, is a master storyteller."--San Francisco Chronicle
The publication of Sophie's Choice, one of William Styron's greatest literary achievements, generated a new spark in the critical discussion of the author and is the main emphasis of the interview with Styron and one of the additional essays in this revised edition. The interview was conducted by Robert K. Morris; the essay on Sophie's Choice by Richard Pearce. Other essays include Jane Flanders on Styron's southern myth, Philip W. Leon on Styron's narrative technique, and Ardner R. Cheshire, Jr., and Mary S. Strine on The Confessions of Nat Turner.Originally published in 1975, The Achievement of William Styron was the first collection of critical essays on one of America's most distinguished contemporary fiction writers, and it has become a standard work. Essays from the original edition which are included in this revised edition are those by the editors, and by Louis D. Rubin, Jr., John O. Lyons, Jan B. Gordon, Robert Phillips, and George Core.
William Styron has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity with the publication of Darkness Visible (1990), his account of his struggle with near-suicidal depression. His works are known for discussing psychological conflicts within families, religious doubt, existentialism, racial tension, and the role of history in fiction. Often compared with William Faulkner, Styron has emerged as one of the most important figures in contemporary American literature and is best known for his continuation of the Southern gothic tradition.
Through original essays, reprints of previously published criticism, and excerpts from reviews, this volume traces the critical reception of Styron's writings over the last 40 years. All of Styron's novels are covered, but the majority of the selections focus on his three most important works: Lie Down in Darkness, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and Sophie's Choice. The pieces reflect a variety of critical perspectives, and the introduction overviews significant trends and omissions in Styron criticism. A bibliography lists Styron's writings, along with critical studies of his work.