How does a writer compose a suicide note? This was not a question that the prize-winning novelist William Styron had ever contemplated before. In this true account of his depression, Styron describes an illness that reduced him from a successful writer to a man arranging his own destruction. He lived to give us this gripping description of his descent into mental anguish, and his eventual success in overcoming a little-understood yet very common condition.
The unabridged text of Darkness Visible by William Styron
VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.
A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human
Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Swimming by Roger Deakin
Babies by Anne Enright
Calm by Tim Parks
Work by Joseph Heller
The five personal and intensely powerful tales that make up this collection draw upon William Styron's real-life experiences in the US Marine Corps, and give us an insight into the early life of one of America's greatest modern writers.
The stories are set in the gruelling camps and sweltering training fields which mark the limbo point between civilian life and the horrors of war. The stories tell of young men embarking on suicidal 1000 mile roundtrips to New York to see their girlfriends on 36 hour leave periods; the surreal experience of being conscripted for a second time to serve in the Korean War; and the frustration and isolation of returning home when service is over.
The Suicide Run brings to life the drama, inhumanity, absurdity and heroism that forever changed the men who served in the Marine Corps.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
In 1831 Nat Turner awaits death in a Virginia jail cell. He is a slave, a preacher, and the leader of the only effective slave revolt in the history of 'that peculiar institution'. William Styron's ambitious and stunningly accomplished novel is Turner's confession, made to his jailers under the duress of his God. Encompasses the betrayals, cruelties and humiliations that made up slavery - and that still sear the collective psyches of both races.
Born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1925, William Styron was educated at Duke University. He served in the Marine Corps during the last war, and was recalled to service during the Korean War. After 1952, he lived mainly in Europe, before settling in a rural part of Connecticut.
He is the author of The Long March, Lie Down in Darkness, Set This House on Fire and Sophie's Choice. He has also published Darkness Visible, the remarkable story of his descent into depression, the collection This Quiet Dust and Other Writings, and A Tidewater Morning. William Styron died in 2006.