NPR logo

Prize-Winning Novelist William Styron Dies at 81

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6421570/6421571" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Prize-Winning Novelist William Styron Dies at 81

Remembrances

Prize-Winning Novelist William Styron Dies at 81

Prize-Winning Novelist William Styron Dies at 81

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6421570/6421571" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Alan Cheuse Commentary

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Styron died Wednesday of pneumonia at a hospital in Martha's Vineyard, Mass. He was 81.

Styron won the Pulitzer for The Confessions of Nat Turner, a fictional account of Nat Turner and the slave revolt of 1831. Despite the award, Styron — a white southerner — was widely criticized for his portrayal of the black hero.

His other works included Sophie's Choice, the award-winning novel about a Holocaust survivor from Poland, A Tidewater Morning, a collection of fiction pieces, and Lie Down in Darkness.

Styron also published a book of essays, This Quiet Dust, and a best-selling 1992 memoir, Darkness Visible, that chronicled his suicidal depression.

The liberal ex-Marine was also well-known for his advocacy of human rights.

Related NPR Stories

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.