William Clark Styron, Jr. was an American novelist and essayist who won major literary awards for his work.
For much of his career, Styron was best known for his novels, including:
?Lie Down in Darkness, his acclaimed first novel, published at age 26;
?The Confessions of Nat Turner, narrated by Nat Turner, the leader of an 1831 Virginia slave revolt;
?Sophie's Choice, a story "told through the eyes of a young aspiring writer from the South, about a Polish Catholic survivor of Auschwitz and her brilliant but troubled Jewish lover in postwar Brooklyn".
Styron's influence deepened and his readership expanded with the publication of Darkness Visible in 1990. This memoir, originally intended as a magazine article, chronicled the author's descent into depression and his near-fatal night of "despair beyond despair".