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Written by William StyronAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by William Styron

  • Format: Hardcover, 96 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library
  • On Sale: January 23, 2007
  • Price: $15.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-679-64352-4 (0-679-64352-4)
Also available as a trade paperback.
about this book

In 1985 William Styron fell victim to a crippling and nearly suicidal depression. This book is his description of his descent into depression, an unprecedented account of the journey into madness. That he manages to convey its tortuous progression and his eventual recovery with such candor and precision makes this book a rare work that will arouse a shock of recognition even among those who have been spared the suffering it describes.


"The book's virtues--considerable--are twofold. First, it is a pitiless and chastened record of a nearly fatal human trial far commoner than assumed--and then a literary discourse on the ways and means of our cultural discontents, observed in the figures of poet Randall Jarrell, activist Abbie Hoffman, writer Albert Camus and others. Written by one whose book-learning proves a match for his misery, the memoir travels fastidiously over perilous ground, receiving intimations of mortality and reckoning delicately with them. Always clarifying his demons, never succumbing to them in his prose, Styron's neat, tight narrative carries the bemusement of the worldly wise suddenly set off-course--and the hard-won wisdom therein."