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Reading My Father

A Memoir
Styron, Alexandra (Book - 2011)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Reading My Father
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Baker & Taylor
The daughter of Sophie's Choice author William Styron discusses what it was like growing up in the same house as a moody literary giant, whose life spiraled out of control when he sank into a deep depression. By the author of All the Finest Girls. 100,000 first printing.

Blackwell Publishing
Part Memoir and Part Elegy, Reading My Father is the Story of A Daughter Coming To Know Her Father at Last---A Giant Among Twentieth-Century American Novelists and A Man Whose Devastating Depression Darkened The Family Landscape.

In Reading My Father, William Styron's youngest child explores the life of a fascinating and difficult man whose own memoir, Darkness Visible, so searingly chronicled his battle with major depression. Alexandra Styron's parents---the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sophie's Choice and his political activist wife, Rose---were, for half a century, leading players on the world's cultural stage. Alexandra was raised under both the halo of her father's brilliance and the long shadow of his troubled mind.

A drinker, a carouser, and above all "a high priest at the altar of fiction," Styron helped define the concept of The Big Male Writer that gave so much of twentieth-century American fiction a muscular, glamorous aura. In constant pursuit of The Great Novel, he and his work were the dominant force in his family's life, his turbulent moods the weather in their ecosystem.

From Styron's Tidewater, Virginia, youth and precocious literary debut to the triumphs of his best-known books and on through his spiral into clinical depression, Reading My Father portrays the epic sweep of an American artist's life, offering a ringside seat on a great literary generation's friendships and their dramas. It is also a tale of filial love, beautifully written, with humor, compassion, and grace.

Simon and Schuster
PART MEMOIR AND PART ELEGY, READING MY FATHER IS THE STORY OF A DAUGHTER COMING TO KNOW HER FATHER AT LAST— A GIANT AMONG TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICAN NOVELISTS AND A MAN WHOSE DEVASTATING DEPRESSION DARKENED THE FAMILY LANDSCAPE.

In Reading My Father, William Styron’s youngest child explores the life of a fascinating and difficult man whose own memoir, Darkness Visible, so searingly chronicled his battle with major depression. Alexandra Styron’s parents—the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Sophie’s Choice and his political activist wife, Rose—were, for half a century, leading players on the world’s cultural stage. Alexandra was raised under both the halo of her father’s brilliance and the long shadow of his troubled mind.

A drinker, a carouser, and above all “a high priest at the altar of fiction,” Styron helped define the concept of The Big Male Writer that gave so much of twentieth-century American fiction a muscular, glamorous aura. In constant pursuit of The Great Novel, he and his work were the dominant force in his family’s life, his turbulent moods the weather in their ecosystem.

From Styron’s Tidewater, Virginia, youth and precocious literary debut to the triumphs of his best-known books and on through his spiral into depression, Reading My Father portrays the epic sweep of an American artist’s life, offering a ringside seat on a great literary generation’s friendships and their dramas. It is also a tale of filial love, beautifully written, with humor, compassion, and grace.

Authors: Styron, Alexandra
Statement of Responsibility: Alexandra Styron
Title: Reading my father
a memoir
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2011
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
Characteristics: 285 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references
Subject Headings: Novelists, American 21st century Biography Novelists, American 20th century Biography Fathers and daughters Biography Styron, William, 1925-2006 Styron, Alexandra
Topical Term: Novelists, American
Novelists, American
Fathers and daughters
LCCN: 2010049145
ISBN: 1416591796
9781416591795
Branch Call Number: B Styron S
Research Call Number: JFF 12-2515
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Dec 17, 2012
  • Katy_C rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Elegantly written, clear-eyed and compassionate. Well worth the time spent reading it.

Aug 02, 2012
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A memoir of a daughter of a difficult man who was really quite despicable - depression, booze, carousing. Styron's father was the author of "Sophie's Choice", and the friend of all of American literati at the time. The book is very well-written and gives a good sense of what family life really was like.

Sep 25, 2011
  • ser_library rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

lots of namedropping and personal rather than critical memoiries of an important author

pictures too

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