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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Writing Leads You To Many Lives

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted. You should live several lives while reading it.” – William Styron

Born in June 1925, Styron thought for a time he wanted to be a book editor.  And, after finishing his studies at Duke University he went to work for McGraw-Hill where it quickly became apparent to him that being an editor was not what he wanted – what he wanted and finally did, was to write.   

After provoking his employers into firing him, he set to writing the first of his 15 successful novels, Lie Down in Darkness, the story of a dysfunctional Virginia family (who some thought reflected on his own growing up years in Virginia). The novel received overwhelming critical acclaim, earned him the prestigious Rome Prize and started him on his lifelong career path. 

Styron’s best known and most awarded novel is Sophie’s Choice, which also won an Academy Award for actress Meryl Streep as a film.  The nationwide best seller won the National Book Award and cemented Styron’s reputation as one of the 20th century’s great creative novelists.     Sandwiched in among his writing credits were two other seminal life experiences:  Service in the Marine Corps that took him into battle in Korea, and time living in Paris where he helped found the prestigious Paris Review magazine.

In his later years, he suffered from depression and wrote of the experience in another award-winning book, Darkness Visible.  Styron died in 2006.

Writer’s Moment with a friend at http://writersmoment.blogspot.com

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