Reading My Father

Reading My Father

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PART MEMOIR AND PART ELEGY, READING MY FATHER IS THE STORY OF A DAUGHTER COMING TO KNOW HER FATHER AT LASTa€” A GIANT AMONG TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICAN NOVELISTS AND A MAN WHOSE DEVASTATING DEPRESSION DARKENED THE FAMILY LANDSCAPE. In Reading My Father, William Styrona€™s youngest child explores the life of a fascinating and difficult man whose own memoir, Darkness Visible, so searingly chronicled his battle with major depression. Alexandra Styrona€™s parentsa€”the Pulitzer Prizea€“winning author of Sophiea€™s Choice and his political activist wife, Rosea€”were, for half a century, leading players on the worlda€™s cultural stage. Alexandra was raised under both the halo of her fathera€™s brilliance and the long shadow of his troubled mind. A drinker, a carouser, and above all a€œa high priest at the altar of fiction, a€ Styron helped define the concept of The Big Male Writer that gave so much of twentieth-century American fiction a muscular, glamorous aura. In constant pursuit of The Great Novel, he and his work were the dominant force in his familya€™s life, his turbulent moods the weather in their ecosystem. From Styrona€™s Tidewater, Virginia, youth and precocious literary debut to the triumphs of his best-known books and on through his spiral into depression, Reading My Father portrays the epic sweep of an American artista€™s life, offering a ringside seat on a great literary generationa€™s friendships and their dramas. It is also a tale of filial love, beautifully written, with humor, compassion, and grace.This book began in a roundabout way, with a phone call from one of my oldest friends, Adam Green. ... my name to Valerie Steiker and Chris Knutsen, colleagues of his who were putting together an anthology about my hometown, Brooklyn, New York. ... Though Ia#39;d lived in the borough for half a dozen years already, Brooklyn and my father were, for the purposes of personal essay, thoroughly intertwined.

Title:Reading My Father
Author:Alexandra Styron
Publisher:Simon and Schuster - 2011-04-19


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