William Styron’s stunning debut: a classic portrait of one Southern family’s tragic spiral into destruction First published to wide critical acclaim in 1951, Lie Down in Darkness centers on the Loftis family—Milton and Helen and their daughters, Peyton and Maudie. The story, told through a series of flashbacks on the day of Peyton’s funeral, is a powerful depiction of a family doomed by its failure to forget and its inability to love. Written in masterful prose, Styron’s debut novel offers unflinching insight into the ineradicable bonds of place and family. The story of Milton, Helen, and their children reveals much about life’s losses and disappointments. Lie Down in Darkness, poignant and compelling, is aclassic of modern American literature. 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.
Published: Open Road Media an imprint of Open Road Integrated Media on May 4, 2010
Not a great novel. I didn't connect with the characters and the action moves too slowly.read more
William Styron's first novel is often overlooked because "Sophie's Choice" is, without doubt, his flagship; however, his style in "Lie Down in Darkness" is as melancholy and forceful as it was in each of his subsequent novels. No reader can leave these pages unmoved by the depth of suffering, both self-imposed and due to other forces, of its principal characters. The family unit is rife with undercurrents and has no opportunity to become functional because the parents are so deeply involved with their own problems. I disliked Helen the most. Her passive aggressive martyrdom fueled her husband's neuroses and alcoholism until their relationship became Faulknerian in its dysfunction. Styron's well-known bouts of depression obviously inspired much of the insights into mental illness. The pain of these characters is palpable throughout the booik.read more
powerful story of a southern family doomed to disintegration and death. Father awash in alcohol, mother in martyrdom, one daughter handicapped, the other destroyed by her mother's jealously and hatred, her father's smothering dependence and semisexual love. Poetic, evocative of Virginia during the second word war. Sometimes hard to read but worth it.read more
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