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In this brilliant collection of 'long short stories', the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Sophie's Choice" returns to the coastal Virginia setting of his first novels. Through the eyes of a man recollecting three episodes from his youth, William Styron explores with new eloquence death, loss, war and racism.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099285533
ISBN-10: 0099285533
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 9mm)
Pages: 160
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 4-Oct-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A short little trip into a half-comfortable kind of writerly nostalgia in three stories (declares an Author's Note) that "reflect the experiences of the author at the ages of twenty, ten, and thirteen." Bending his hand again to scenes of WW II, Styron visits ("Love Day") a Marine Division in the Pacific, offering in brief form a standard cast of characters from Many-a-Movie: the tough but just-a-guy commander; the platoon leader who wants to be a writer; the narrator who has secret home-thoughts and, through them, learns something about meaning and fear. Throughout, the rickety narrative is made forgivable - barely - by the pleasures of the period detail. "Shadrach," set in 1935, is more complex - and perhaps overall less convincing, though even more painstaking in its (in this case) recalling of rural Depression-era details. In it, a middle-class boy admits to his envy of the slovenly but life-rich existence of a family of fallen white trash (the Dabneys), to whom a 99-year-old ex-slave returns to die. Finally, set in 1938, amid rumblings of approaching war, "A Tidewater Morning" shows a boy rebelling against one kind of tyranny (his mean and niggardly paperroute boss) while his mother (once a classical singer) dies horribly of the inescapable tyranny of cancer and his father crumbles gradually through weakness and pity. Styronic plusses and minuses: the displeasures of the overly-written-about and revisited, and of the rickety narrative shortcut ("This is a farce! We didn't come out here these thousands of miles to sit around that stinking little island and watch our hands and feet rot off. We were trained to kill Japa, for Christ's sake!"); and, meanwhile, the pleasures of atmosphere, detail, and the now-and-again indisputably lovely phrase. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - William Styron

Born at Newport News, Virginia, in 1925, William Styron was educated at Duke University. He served in the Marine Corps during the last war, and was recalled to service during the Korean War. After 1952, he lived mainly in Europe, before settling in a rural part of Connecticut.

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