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William Styron, A Life
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William Styron, A Life

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  62 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Revealing the facts behind Styron's strong friendships with James Baldwin, Willie Morris, Art Buchwald, Philip Roth, Fred Exley, Peter Matthiessen, and many others, his feud with Norman Mailer which lasted almost three decades, and his dramatic and searing bouts with clinical depression, this authorized--but uncensored--biography offers a compelling profile of one of the m ...more
Hardcover, 506 pages
Published March 10th 1998 by Random House Publishing Group (first published 1998)
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Philip
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read three Styron novels this year, and find the man himself quite interesting (I actually wrote to him in the mid-90s, and was allowed to send him some books to be signed). While rummaging around in some boxes of books I came upon this biography, which I'd quite forgotten I had - it came out in 1998 and is fresh, unread hardcover copy - I have NO idea where, when or how I obtained it!

3/04: Covers Styron's life and writing up to 1998, as well as friendships with James Jones, James Baldwin,
...more
Karen Lausa
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't put this down. I think of William Styron as one of our finest American writers; to mine the depths of his becoming the great novelist he is considered today, is to learn of his struggles in his youth, the influence of living abroad in the 1950's, and the amazing world of publishing decades before it's current demise. James West is a fine writer, and the biography is engaging and brilliantly researched.
Anastasi
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author did great research, and obviously had access to Bill Styron who was still living at the time the book was written. What I appreciated most about this book was the descriptions of how Styron made the complicated decisions about what voice would be his in his novels, and how to tell the story. Styron typically worked 4-8 years on each novel, quite carefully crafting the story before he would put pen to paper.
Garret Rose
A mind trip that feels a bit worn out. Billy Pilgrim is the ultimate floater and nothing seems to surprise him. He is the epitome of whatever happens, happens. A true anti-hero in every sense of the word. I choose not to be a Billy Pilgrim. We have more control of our lives than we think.
Suzanne Kelly
I've never read a book by William Styron but I found this biography interesting.
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James L. W. West III, a native of Virginia, is Sparks Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University. West is a book historian, scholarly editor, and biographer. He has written books on F. Scott Fitzgerald and on the history of professional authorship in America and has held fellowships from the J. S. Guggenheim Foundation, the National Humanities Center, and the National Endowment for the ...more
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