Styron, William, 1925-2006

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American novelist William Styron was born in Virginia and graduated from Duke. After serving in World War II, he worked as an editor while writing his first novel. His work has been both controversial and timely; his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Confessions of Nat Turner, explored the theme of slavery, and benefitted from being released during the racially-charged 1960s, and his American Book Award-winning novel, Sophie's Choice, examined a World War II concentration camp survivor. His style was influenced by Faulkner and other Southern writers. An accomplished but not prolific novelist, Styron has also written in other genres.

From the description of William Styron letters, recording, and periodical, 1960-1968. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 60573838

William Styron attended Davidson college from 1942 to 1943. He graduated from Duke University in 1947. A novelist, his works include The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie's Choice, and Lie Down in Darkness.

From the description of Collection [archives], 1942-1990. (American Museum of Natural History). WorldCat record id: 722301511

Author.

From the description of Reminiscences of William Styron : oral history, 1986-1987. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 269255080

American author and Duke University alumnus.

From the description of William Styron papers, 1855-2007 and undated. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 40509458

Author and novelist.

From the description of Papers of William Styron, 1951-1968. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 75382873

Biographical Note

  • 1925, June 11: Born, Newport News, Va.
  • 1938: Mother died; sent to Christchurch School, Christchurch, Va.
  • 1943 - 1945 : Served in marines in World War II.
  • 1947: Graduated, Duke University, Durham, N.C.
  • 1947 - 1950 : Worked briefly for McGraw-Hill, book publishers Studied writing, New School for Social Research, New York, N.Y. Published first short stories and began writing first novel
  • 1951: Published Lie Down in Darkness. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Briefly recalled into marines during Korean War.
  • 1952: Received fellowship in literature, American Academy, Rome Italy; spent time in France and Italy; helped found Paris Review
  • 1953: Married Rose Burgunder
  • 1954: Settled in Roxbury, Conn.
  • 1955: Published The Long March. New York: Vintage Books
  • 1960: Published Set This House on Fire. New York: Random House
  • 1964: Fellow, Stillman College, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
  • 1967: Published The Confessions of Nat Turner. New York: Random House, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize
  • 1972: Play In the Clap Shack, produced at Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, Conn.; became honorary consultant in letters, Library of Congress
  • 1979: Published Sophie's Choice. New York: Random House
  • 1982: Published This Quiet Dust. New York: Random House
  • 1984: Received Connecticut Arts Award
  • 1990: Published Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. New York: Random House
  • 1993: Awarded National Medal of Arts
  • 2006, Nov. 1: Died, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

From the guide to the William Styron Papers, 1951-1968, (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

  • 1925, June 11: Born to William Clark Styron and Pauline (Abraham) Styron, in Newport News, Va.
  • 1942: Attended Davidson College
  • 1943: Enlisted in Marine Corps in V-12 program Transferred to Duke University
  • 1944 - 1945 : Served as lieutenant in the Marine Corps
  • 1947: Received A.B. from Duke University Moved to New York City and studied writing with Hiram Haydn at the New School for Social Research Associate editor with McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, N.Y.
  • 1952: Received American Academy of Arts and Letters Prix de Rome for Lie Down in Darkness (1951)
  • 1953, May 4: Married Rose Burgunder
  • 1960: Published the novel, Set this House on Fire
  • 1968: Received Pulitzer Prize for The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967)
  • 1970: Received Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters for The Confessions of Nat Turner
  • 1979: Publication of Sophie's Choice
  • 1980: Received the American Book Award and nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, both for Sophie's Choice
  • 1984: Received Connecticut Arts Award and Duke University's Distinguished Alumni Award Appointed a fellow of Silliman College of Yale University
  • 1985: Received the Prix Mondial del Duca
  • 1987: Received the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
  • 1988: Received Edward MacDowell Medal
  • 1990: Publication of Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, a narrative recalling the major depression Styron suffered beginning in 1985
  • 2006 November: Died at the age of 81 in Martha's Vineyard

From the guide to the William Styron Papers, 1855-2007, (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn News Service Biographical Files, ., circa 1930s - 2004 University Archives, Duke University.
referencedIn Jones, Madison, 1925-. Madison Jones papers, 1950-1989. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
referencedIn Dwight Macdonald papers, 1865-1984, 1920-1978 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Bennett Cerf Papers, ca. 1898-1977. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf William Styron Papers, 1855-2007 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Esquire, Inc. Records, 1933-1977 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Livermore, Kathryn Ann. Correspondence, 1963-1980. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn C. Hugh Holman Papers (#4537), 1930s-1980s University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
creatorOf Hunter, Jody Jones. The Jody Jones Hunter Collection of Works by William Styron, 1831-1998. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Papers, 1920-1995. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Rubin, Louis Decimus, 1923-. Louis Decimus Rubin papers, 1945- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn John Henrik Clarke papers, 1937-1996 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
referencedIn Bobbye S. Ortiz Papers, (bulk, 1919-1993 and undated, 1950-1990) David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Esquire, Inc. Records, 1933-1977 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Erskine, Albert, 1911-1993. Collection of William Faulkner manuscripts and proofs [manuscript], 1927-1972. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Papers, 1919-1991 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. Office files, of The American Poetry Review, 1972. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Aldridge, John W. John W. Aldridge sound recordings. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Eisenberg, Lee, 1946-. Records : of the 50th Anniversary issue of Esquire, 1976-1984 (bulk 1982-1983). University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Warren, Robert Penn, 1905-1989. Robert Penn Warren papers, 1906-1989. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Durr, Virginia Foster. Papers: Series II, 1929-1991 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Jones, James, 1921-1977. James Jones Papers, 1890-1981 (bulk 1941-1978). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Antippas, Andy Peter, 1941-. Offprints of periodical articles from the library of Edgar F. Shannon, Jr. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Harris, L. mss., 1931-1977 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. Collection [archives], 1942-1990. Davidson College, Davidson College Library
creatorOf McGinley, Phyllis, 1905-1978. Lillian Hellman Papers, 1904-1984 (bulk 1934-1984). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. William Styron letters, recording, and periodical, 1960-1968. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Harmon, William, 1938-. William Harmon papers, 1939-2000 (correspondents S). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Reynolds Price Papers, bulk, 1927-2010 and undated, 1956-2006 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn University of Virginia. Dept. of English. Papers of the Dept. of English Language and Literature [manuscript], 1956-1970. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Cerf, Bennett, 1898-1971. Bennett Cerf papers, ca. 1898-1977. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Modern Language Association of America. Southern Literature Discussion Group. Records, 1955-1981. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Dickey, James, 1923-. Papers, 1940-1990 (inclusive), 1968-1990 (bulk). Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
referencedIn Don Congdon Associates, Inc. Records, 1973-1994. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Harper's magazine records, 1847-1983 (bulk 1940-1983). Library of Congress
referencedIn George P. Garrett Papers, 1929-2008, (bulk 1960-2000) David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Jody Jones Hunter Collection of Works by William Styron, 1831-2001 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Virginia. World War II History Commission. Separation notices and reports, 1942-1950 (bulk 1944-1946). Library of Virginia
referencedIn Watkins, Floyd C. Floyd C. Watkins papers, [ca. 1940-1998]. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. Grateful words about F. Scott Fitzgerald. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
creatorOf Friends of the UCSD Library. Records, 1961-1986. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. Tribute to Jim Dickey University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn Yaddo records, 1870-1980 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Hough, Henry Beetle, 1896-. Henry Beetle Hough papers, 1841-1994. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Lillian Hellman Papers TXRC05-A10005., 1904-1984 (bulk 1934-1984) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf World War II writer's symposium. Roundtable discussion, 13-14 April 1995 / William Price Fox, moderator. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006,. Reminiscences of William Styron : oral history, 1986-1987. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Hawkins, John R. John R. Hawkins '56 literary manuscript collection, 1972-80. Haverford College Library
creatorOf White, Robert, 1921-2002. Robert W. White papers, 1889-2003, bulk 1915-2003. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Maloff, Dorothy Parker. William Styron letters, 1948-1960 bulk 1948-1953. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Esquire, inc. Esquire, inc. records, 1933-1977. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Hunter, Jody Jones. The Jody Jones Hunter Collection of Works by William Styron, 1831-2001. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Esquire Magazine. Esquire Magazine records, 1933-1977. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Taylor, Robert, 1925-. Robert Taylor papers, 1952-1990. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Krim, Seymour, 1922-. Papers of Seymour Krim, 1953-1990. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Gohdes, Clarence, 1901-1997. Papers, 1845-1992. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Haydn, Hiram Collins, 1907-1973,. Creative writing questionnaires for writing class at University of Pennsylvania, 1970-1972. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Records. Series VII., Other Department Files, 1916-1996 (bulk 1943-1969). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Patricia Rowe Willrich Papers, 1949-1996 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Charles Turner papers, 1921-2003, 1933-1992 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Don Congdon Associates, Inc. Don Congdon records, 1973-1994. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. Letter, 2000, January 1, Roxbury, Connecticut, to Mr. [George] Terry. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, [between 1948 and 1990]. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn William Harmon Papers (#4568), 1939-2000 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Clyde Edgerton Papers, 1918-2004 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
creatorOf Hardwick, Elizabeth. Papers, 1934-1991 (bulk 1960-1990). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. Letters, 1991-1997, to Barnaby Conrad. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn Harold Matson Company, Inc. (New York, N.Y.). Harold Matson Company, Inc. Records, 1937-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Records. Series V., Editor Files, 1873-1984 (bulk 1960-1980). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Letters and documents. Hollins University, Wyndham Robertson Library
referencedIn Roth, Philip. Philip Roth papers, 1938-2001 (bulk 1960-1999). Library of Congress
referencedIn Clarke, John Henrik, 1915-1998. John Henrik Clarke papers, 1937-1996. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn John W. Aldridge papers, 1942-2006, 1950-2000 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Taylor, Peter, 1917-1994. Papers of Peter Hillsman Taylor, 1939-1977 [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Hills, L. Rust. Papers, 1954-1996. Indiana University
referencedIn Louis Untermeyer collection of papers, 1913-1975 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Aadland, Florence. The big love / by Florence Aadland ; as told to Tedd Thomey ; edited by William Styron, 1961. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Simpson, Louis, 1923-. Papers of Louis Aston Marantz Simpson, 1943-1969. Library of Congress
referencedIn Autograph File, S, 1556-1996. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Richard Gaither Walser Papers (#4168), 1918-1988 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. William Styron papers, 1855-2007 and undated. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Redding, Jay Saunders, 1906-1988. Papers, [ca. 1940-1980]. Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Literary encounters: photographs, 1985-1992. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Abraham, Henry Julian, 1921-. Fall convocation addresses at the University of Virginia [manuscript], 1983-1998. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. William Styron papers [manuscript], 1983-2002. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1875-2004 (inclusive), 1936-2000 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Macdonald, Dwight. Dwight Macdonald papers, 1865-1984 (inclusive), 1920-1978 (bulk). Yale University Library
contributorOf James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Gail and Stephen Rudin autograph collection, 1841-1993. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Shumlin, Herman, 1898-. Papers, 1930-1968. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Harper's Magazine Records, 1847-1983, (bulk 1940-1983) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Gossett, Thomas F., 1916-. Papers, 1948-1991 and n.d. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn John Hollander Papers, circa 1950-2007 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. [On the Clinton tragedy]. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. Papers of William Styron, 1951-1968. Library of Congress
referencedIn Gifford, Barry, 1946-. Barry Gifford papers, circa 1970-2005. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Sears, Donald A. Correspondence of Donald A. Sears, 1966-1970. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Robert Penn Warren papers, 1906-1989 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Blackburn, Roma Stewart Goodwin. Roma Stewart Goodwin Blackburn papers, 1942-1985. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf William Styron Papers, 1951-1968 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn New York Times Company records. A.M. Rosenthal papers, 1955-1994, 1967-1986 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Yevtushenko, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich, 1933-. Papers, ca. 1920-1999, ca. 1945-1997 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Erskine, Albert Russell, 1911-. Collection : chiefly of William Faulkner manuscripts and proofs, 1927-1972. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Philip Roth Papers, 1938-2001, (bulk 1960-1999) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Harrison, Jim, 1937-. Papers, 1938- [present]. Grand Valley State University
creatorOf Faulkner, William, 1897-1962. Papers regarding Faulkner's work as Chairman of the Writers Committee of President Eisenhower's People-to People Program [manuscript], 1956-1969. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Styron, William, 1925-2006. Letter, 1981 May 28, Roxbury, Connecticut, to James Dickey. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
creatorOf Aldridge, John W. John W. Aldridge papers, 1942-2006. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Records. : Series I., General Correspondence, 1922-1977 (bulk 1946-1966). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Robert W. White papers, 1889-2003, bulk circa 1920s-2003 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
referencedIn Biographical Reference Collection, ., 1972 - 2004 University Archives, Duke University.
referencedIn Paris Review. The Paris Review archives, 1953-1997. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Papers, 1918-1993 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Walker Percy Papers, circa 1910-1992 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
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associatedWith Virginia. World War II History Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Wade Hampton person
associatedWith Wallace, Mike person
associatedWith Walser, Richard Gaither, 1908- person
associatedWith Walt Sandulli person
associatedWith Warren, Robert Penn, 1905-1989. person
associatedWith Watkins, Floyd C. person
associatedWith West, James L. W., person
associatedWith White, Robert person
associatedWith White, Robert, 1921-2002. person
associatedWith Wilberforce University corporateBody
associatedWith William Heath person
associatedWith William Marks person
associatedWith William Sidney Drewry person
associatedWith William Wolf person
associatedWith Willrich, Patrica Rowe person
associatedWith Wise, James person
associatedWith Wolfram Kandinsky person
associatedWith Woodward, Vann person
associatedWith World War II writer's symposium. corporateBody
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
associatedWith Yale corporateBody
associatedWith Yevtushenko, Yevgeny person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Newport News (Va.)
Subject
Authors, American--20th century
Male authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
Depression, Mental
Depressed persons--Interviews
Literature
Novelists, American--Interviews
American literature
American fiction
Fiction
Authors--Interviews
American literature--20th century
Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
Authors
Occupation
Editors
Authors
Novelists
Function

Person

Birth 1925-06-11

Death 2006-11-01

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6cr60m5

SNAC ID: 10330651