Lie Down in Darkness
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William Styron’s stunning debut: a classic portrait of one Southern family’s tragic spiral into destruction
First published to wide critical acclaim in 1951, Lie Down in Darkness centers on the Loftis family—Milton and Helen and their daughters, Peyton and Maudie. The story, told through a series of flashbacks on the day of Peyton’s funeral, is a powerful depiction of a family doomed by its failure to forget and its inability to love. Written in masterful prose, Styron’s debut novel offers unflinching insight into the ineradicable bonds of place and family. The story of Milton, Helen, and their children reveals much about life’s losses and disappointments. Lie Down in Darkness, poignant and compelling, is a classic of modern American literature. This enhanced ebook includes three illuminating videos about William Styron. In one, biographer James L. West III discusses how Styron’s first job, at a movie theater, influenced his fiction. In others, Styron’s widow, Rose, remembers her husband, and their daughter, Alexandra, describes her father’s emotions on finishing his first novel, Lie Down in Darkness. This ebook also features a new illustrated biography of Styron, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Styron family and the Duke University Archives.
“Brilliant. . . . A triumph of characterization." —The New York Times
“Richly and poetically written.” —The Atlantic
“Achieves real beauty.” —The Washington Post
“Styron is a young writer of uncommon gifts.” —Associated Press
William Styron (1925–2006), born in Newport News, Virginia, was one of the greatest American writers of his generation. Styron published his first book, Lie Down in Darkness, at age twenty-six and went on to write such influential works as the controversial and Pulitzer Prize–winning The Confessions of Nat Turner and the international bestseller Sophie’s Choice.