22 Facts About William Styron


William Styron grew up in the South and was steeped in its history.

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William Styron's birthplace was less than a hundred miles from the site of Nat Turner's slave rebellion, later the source for Styron's most famous and controversial novel.

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William Styron's mother died from breast cancer in 1939 when Styron was still a boy, following her decade-long battle with the disease.

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William Styron attended public school in Warwick County, first at Hilton School and then at Morrison High School for two years, until his father sent him to Christchurch School, an Episcopal college-preparatory school in the Tidewater region of Virginia.

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William Styron published several short stories in the university literary magazine, The Archive, between 1944 and 1946.

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William Styron later recalled the misery of this work in an autobiographical passage of Sophie's Choice.

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William Styron's recall into the military due to the Korean War prevented him from immediately accepting the Rome Prize.

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William Styron joined the Marine Corps, but was discharged in 1952 for eye problems.

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In 1968, William Styron signed the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" pledge, a vow refusing to pay taxes as a protest against the Vietnam War.

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Baldwin's prediction was correct, and despite public defenses of William Styron by leading artists of the time, including Baldwin and Ralph Ellison, numerous other black critics reviled William Styron's portrayal of Turner as racist stereotyping.

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William Styron writes of a situation where Turner and another slave boy have a homosexual encounter while alone in the woods.

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William Styron's readership expanded with the publication of Darkness Visible in 1990.

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Reportedly, it was the public's unsympathetic response to Levi's death that impelled William Styron to take a more active role as an advocate for educating the public about the nature of depression, about which he was a dilettante, and the role it allegedly played in mental health and suicide.

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William Styron was awarded the St Louis Literary Award from the Saint Louis University Library Associates.

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William Styron was awarded the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca in 1985.

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William Styron had approached Styron about writing the libretto, but Styron declined.

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In 1996 William Styron received the 1st Fitzgerald Award on the centenary of F Scott Fitzgerald's birth.

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William Styron was a Charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

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William Styron himself was appointed to design a naming system for Port Warwick, deciding to "honor great American writers", resulting in Philip Roth Street, Thomas Wolfe Street, Flannery O'Connor Street, Herman Melville Avenue and others.

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William Styron died from pneumonia on November 1, 2006, at age 81, on Martha's Vineyard.

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William Styron is buried at West Chop Cemetery in Vineyard Haven, Dukes County, Massachusetts.

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Together, they had four children: daughter Susanna William Styron is a film director; daughter Paola is an internationally acclaimed modern dancer; daughter Alexandra is a writer, known for the 2001 novel All The Finest Girls and 2011 memoir Reading My Father: A Memoir; son Thomas is a professor of clinical psychology at Yale University.

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