A Tidewater Morning by William Styron

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Three autobiographically inspired novellas by Styron that tell the story of a young writer’s journey to adulthood

William Styron’s A Tidewater Morning features three novellas centered around budding novelist Paul Whitehurst’s coming of age during the Great Depression and Second World War. They convey Whitehurst’s struggle to cope with his mother’s terminal cancer, his view of the strained racial relations in the pre-war American South, and his anxiety as a marine preparing to land on the beaches of Okinawa. Each novella weaves together the transformative experiences of Whitehurst’s early life with Styron’s signature deep historical insight, underscoring how the significance of the past informs the present. This ebook features a new illustrated biography of William Styron, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Styron family and the Duke University Archives.

About William Styron

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William Styron, 1925 - William Clark Styron was born June 11, 1925 in Newport News, Virginia to William Clark Styron, a marine engineer, and Pauline Abraham Styron, who died when he was thirteen years old. He was a descendent of the Stioring family that arrived in Virginia in 1650. He attended Duke University and took courses at the New School for Social Research in New York City, which started him on his writing career. Styron was a Marine lieutenant during World War II and while serving during the Korean War, was recalled from active duty because of faulty eyesight. In 1953, he married Rose Burgunder in Rome and they had four children. During high school, Styron wrote short stories for the school's newspaper. While attending college, he wrote poems for the literary magazine. After leaving the service, he helped start a magazine called the Paris Review in the city of lights and remained as an advisory editor. Styron's first novel was "Lie Down in Darkness" (1951) and was followed by "The Long March" (1955). In 1960, he published "Set This House on Fire," which tells how American expatriates got along in Italy during the 1950's. "The Confessions of Nat Turner" (1967), which won the Pulitzer Prize, tells the story in the narrative voice of the real life black leader during the 1831 slave uprising in Virginia. Perhaps the novel he's best known for is "Sophie's Choice" (1979), which tells the story of Sophie, who, during the Holocaust, had to choose between one of the lives of her two healthy children. The novel was made into a movie in 1982 and won the American Book Award. "A Tidewater Morning" (1993) is a short story that tells of an elderly former slave who travels by foot back to Virginia to be buried where he grew up. The movie Shadrach is based on this story, and Styron wrote the screenplay with his daughter. Styron has also written nonfiction and include the titles "The Quiet Dust and Other Writings" (1982) and "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness" (1990).
Published May 4, 2010 by Open Road Media. 161 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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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."

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of A Tidewater Morning

Publishers Weekly

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The three tales are united by their single narrator, one Paul Whitehurst, and his search for ``light refracted within a flashing moment of remembered childhood.'' They take up the issues Styron has grappled with in previous fiction--the legacy of slavery and racism in the South, the constricting ...

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Publishers Weekly

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These three interconnected stories are the Pulitzer Prize-winning author's first fiction in more than a decade. (Sept.)

Aug 29 1994 | Read Full Review of A Tidewater Morning


Bored by the company of other officers, Paul casts his mind back to his father, who built Navy ships in the 1930s, a job that helped guide the country out of a Depression and, in Paul's mind, into a war.

Nov 15 1993 | Read Full Review of A Tidewater Morning

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