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A compelling and authoritative portrait of an American literary master William Styron was one of the most highly regarded and controversial authors of his generation. In this illuminating biography, James L.W. West III draws upon letters, papers, and manuscripts as well as interviews with Styron's friends and family to recount in rich detail the experiences that shaped each of his groundbreaking books. From Styron's Southern upbringing, which deeply influenced the Pulitzer Prize'winning The Confessions of Nat Turner and National Book Award'winning Sophie's Choice, to his feud with Norman Mailer and the clinical depression that led to his acclaimed memoir Darkness Visible, West's remarkable biography provides invaluable insight into the life and works of a giant of American literature.



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