Thursday, November 02, 2006

William Styron

William Styron, author of Sophie's Choice died yesterday. This 2003 Guardian article gives a good overview of his literary career. He never finished his final novel, the Way of the Warrior, but Amazon, full of hope, has a page for it. Note the single customer review.

One of the main controversies surrounding Styron was his depiction of slave in The Confessions of Nat Turner and a Jewish Holocaust survivor in Sophie's Choice. The complaints were that Styron, a white male, couldn't capture the way a black person or a Jewish female would act or feel. I think most people today would disagree with this. Art is supposed to be universal and I'd hate to think we are banned from trying to understand people different from us. This goes for authors as well as readers.


lisa_emily said...

A novelists is sucessful if they can draw in the reader. Its not about "truth". Sheesh, when will people get this?

The only Styron book I read was his memoir, which was pretty decent and compelling, insightful.

Too bad he didn't finish his last novel though...but now he doesn't have to worry abou tit.

Tripp said...

Having seen the film, I probably won't read Sophie's Choice, as I know what the choice is.

Unfinished novels are such a bummer for the fan though. It's like the question of "lost" album.