Sophie's Choice by William Styron

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I also find the elevated prose contrasts wonderfully with Stingo's twenty-two-year old sexual frustration to hilarious effect.
-The Blue Bookcase

Synopsis

This award-winning novel of love, survival, and agonizing regret in post–WWII Brooklyn “belongs on that small shelf reserved for American masterpieces” (The Washington Post Book World).

 Winner of the National Book Award and a modern classic, Sophie’s Choice centers on three characters: Stingo, a sexually frustrated aspiring novelist; Nathan, his charismatic but violent Jewish neighbor; and Sophie, an Auschwitz survivor who is Nathan’s lover. Their entanglement in one another’s lives will build to a stirring revelation of agonizing secrets that will change them forever.
 
Poetic in its execution, and epic in its emotional sweep, Sophie’s Choice explores the good and evil of humanity through Stingo’s burgeoning worldliness, Nathan’s volatile personality, and Sophie’s tragic past. Mixing elements from Styron’s own experience with themes of the Holocaust and the history of slavery in the American South, the novel is a profound and haunting human drama, representing Styron at the pinnacle of his literary brilliance.
 
This ebook features an 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 (1925-2006), a native of the Virginia Tidewater, was a graduate of Duke University and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. His books include Lie Down in Darkness, The Long March, Set This House on Fire, The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie’s Choice, This Quiet Dust, Darkness Visible, and A Tidewater Morning. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Howells Medal, the American Book Award, the Légion d’Honneur, and the Witness to Justice Award from the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation. With his wife, the poet and activist Rose Styron, he lived for most of his adult life in Roxbury, Connecticut, and in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, where he is buried.
 
Published April 30, 2010 by Open Road Media. 575 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Sophie's Choice
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 05 2011

Lesser problems too: the clumsy narrative shifts in the Auschwitz flashbacks, the impossibly ornate dialogue...Still, with all that said, Styron is a born writer, and when he's just storytelling...there's enough detailed, vigorous, sheer readability here...

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Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by Christina Guerrero on Sep 17 2012

Sophies Choice, like Russia according to former English Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Dont skip ahead to find out what happens. Dont look for the meaning of the title. Read from the beginning and go through the layers...

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People

Good
on Jun 25 1980

Styron's imagination astonishes again and again, exploring the human evils that are his recurring nightmares. In prose as dark and vital as blood, he shows no mercy to either his characters or readers.

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Brothers Judd

Below average
on Jul 20 2015

Stingo speaks with a distinctive voice and the choice Sophie is compelled to make is horrible and compelling, but somehow we never really connect with the three main characters.

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Good
Reviewed by Lisa Armstrong on May 01 2014

A powerfully moving account of the Holocaust is paired with a complex and distressing portrait of a tortured relationship in this seminal tragedy.

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The Blue Bookcase

Good
Reviewed by Connie on Sep 28 2012

I also find the elevated prose contrasts wonderfully with Stingo's twenty-two-year old sexual frustration to hilarious effect.

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Lit Stack

Good
on Oct 24 2011

...that crucial moment Sophie faces was of course the most affecting, the kind of scene that, as Gardner says, continually comes back “with astonishing vividness — perhaps the most obvious mark of a masterpiece.”

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http://christalawler.com

Good
on Mar 02 2012

The characters are so complete, between the balance of likability and flaw. Stingo is naive and a people-pleaser...

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Reader Rating for Sophie's Choice
80%

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