William Styron

Styron was an American novelist and essayist who won major literary awards for his work. He was best known for his novels, including: Lie Down in Darkness (1951), his acclaimed first work, published at age 26; The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), narrated by Nat Turner, the leader of an 1831 Virginian slave revolt; and 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. When he emerged out from under this initial experience, Styron was able to write the memoir Darkness Visible (1990), the work he became best known for during the last two decades of his life.