A Tidewater Morning

(Fiction, Random House, 1993)

William Styron died on the first day of November 2006. The weeks following his death saw a public return to his great novels—Lie Down in Darkness, Sophie’s Choice, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Confessions of Nat Turner—as well as a gathering appreciation for the role he played in legitimizing and, in a way, depathologizing mental illness by publishing Darkness Visible, the brief, arrow-shot memoir of his own descent into suicidal depression. Perhaps the loveliest valediction, however, comes from rereading (or discovering for the first time) his collection of autobiographical short stories, A Tidewater Morning.

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