The Confessions of Nat Turner

The Confessions of Nat Turner

4.1 18
by William Styron
     
 

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In the late summer of 1831, in a remote section of southeastern Virginia, there took place the only effective, sustained revolt in the annals of American Negro slavery...

The revolt was led by a remarkable Negro preacher named Nat Turner, an educated slave who felt himself divinely ordained to annihilate all the white people in the region.

The

Overview

In the late summer of 1831, in a remote section of southeastern Virginia, there took place the only effective, sustained revolt in the annals of American Negro slavery...

The revolt was led by a remarkable Negro preacher named Nat Turner, an educated slave who felt himself divinely ordained to annihilate all the white people in the region.

The Confessions of Nat Turner is narrated by Nat himself as he lingers in jail through the cold autumnal days before his execution. The compelling story ranges over the whole of Nat's Life, reaching its inevitable and shattering climax that bloody day in August.

The Confessions of Nat Turner is not only a masterpiece of storytelling; is also reveals in unforgettable human terms the agonizing essence of Negro slavery. Through the mind of a slave, Willie Styron has re-created a catastrophic event, and dramatized the intermingled miseries, frustrations--and hopes--which caused this extraordinary black man to rise up out of the early mists of our history and strike down those who held his people in bondage.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Styron's 1967 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel depicting the leader of a slave revolt is the latest offering in Random's "Modern Library." This is the least expensive hardcover edition of Turner currently available.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679736639
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/17/1993
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
49,684
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.98(d)
Lexile:
1450L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Roxbury, Connecticut, and Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
June 11, 1925
Date of Death:
November 1, 2006
Place of Birth:
Newport News, Virginia
Place of Death:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Education:
Davidson College and Duke University, both in North Carolina; courses at the New School for Social Research in New York

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The Confessions of Nat Turner 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Ann_Madison More than 1 year ago
When civil rights leaders were looking for a case to take to the Supreme Court regarding school segregation, they rightfully looked to the best segregated schools in the country--those which had the best system of "separate but equal" education for whites and blacks--which they found in Kansas, specifically in Topeka. The court found that the problem with "separate but equal" was not in equality but in separation which was in fact an extension of slavery. Styron has taken similar action in choosing Nat Turner as the protagonist of this novel. Nat was somewhat educated and trained in a craft. He didn't work the cotton fields and for the most part his masters did not horribly mistreat him. The psychological effects of slavery were as deep, however, as those of any field hand. Nat hated white people in a stereotypical fashion that is the underpinning of all slavery, though we usually think of stereotyping from the white perspective. Few authors have given readers a glimpse of this bottom up stereotyping of whites from the slave's point of view as does Styron. Enlightening!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has been attacked for taking too much liberty with history. I cannot understand this since history is mostly silent concerning Nat Turner: The Man. Styron has also been charged with an inaccurate and unflattering portrait of a slave. I believe this charge stems from the discomfort of being as close to slavery as Styron brings us in this book. Romantics may think Nat Turner needs special qualities to lead a slave uprising as he did, but how realistic is that? I prefer Styron's account of a good man caught in the machinery of a horrible institution who is stretched to the breaking point. Nat Turner was a man in the end; we often try to make legends more than that. Huck Finn makes many uncomfortable for the same reasons this book does. Rather than trying to paint a rosy picture, we need to consider the reality books like this portray.
Guest More than 1 year ago
William Styron, winner of countless literary prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize (for Confessions) and the Prix de Rome, is probably one of the best writers of critical acclaim today. He has lived to see his novels grace the shelves of college bookstores (as canonical Southern Literature) and has even lived to read a definitive biography written about him. He does not simply write novels, he writes literature. And The Confessions of Nat Turner is no exception. Confessions is a brilliant amalgam of history, elegant prose, and an intense, if not sometimes overwrought, imagination. Ultimately, Confessions is a novel of tragedy, a sense of which can be felt from the very beginning. It is an almost melancholy book that, despite what some critics have said, does not downplay the evil and ignorance of slavery at all. Rather, it provides an intimate protraiture of slavery and of slaves, particularly the tormented Nat Turner. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
britsmom7 More than 1 year ago
This book was assigned reading for my 11th grade AP English class. At that time I was easily manipulated by social movements and was so self-centered that I created my own reality. I remember thinking that Confessions was likely a hype, and because of that I disconnected it from American history. Consequently, I had little interest in it and read it only because I needed the course's credits and an A grade for college, to which I had just been accepted. This time, however, I found it extremely absorbing and gripping, simultaneously bringing about a deep sense of sadness and strong feelings of revulsion, horror and white European guilt. It's too bad that we adults don't have a required reading mandate;I'm convicted that I need to re-read all of the books I was assigned when I was fifteen through eighteen. I don't know if I'll respond to them as I did with Confessions; but throughout my second reading, this book thoroughly shook me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although Styron attempted to do good by writing this book, his underlying racists attitude towards a man who sacrificed his life for a cause  kept slipping anyway. No one is sure where Styron got his creative license but that agency that gave it to him, should shut down. He won a  pulitizer prize for killing Nat  Turner's character.  Maybe that's why so many bad things are written about people of color because in the late 60's you could get a pulitizer prize. It is bad enough that Nat Turner was cut to pieces and his body parts sold. Nat did  not deserve a southern white fiction writer to kill his character the way Styron did. it was wrong and uncalled for.  It was outright disgusting. Nat Turner did not have homosexual tendencies as alluded to in this trash of a book. His motivation for the insurrection had nothing to do  with Nat  wanting to sleep with white women.  Research has shown and the most recent book about Turner has shown that Nat Turner was a married man with a beautiful supportive wife and child. If you want to know about Nat Turner, the truth about him, skip this book. Get the new book Prophet The Story of Nat Turner and combine it with the original Confessions of Nat Turner by Thomas Gray.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I viewed this book and believed that this novel would just turn out like any other. I was wrong, and I find out that there is an extreme amount of knowledge that I had been baffled about. Once I had read this novel, almost all of my answers have been met. I would recommend this to anyone. I usually don't have a particular caring of a book, but this just made me wonder and wonder about the next step!! Two thumbs up!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a thirteen year old girl, and i find this book to be not only good, well written literature, but captivating and somewhat hostorically correct. As i read, i was captivated throughout. Hats off to Styron(if he weren'nt dead)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got out of the car and held her. Natasha whats wrong?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How am i suppose to explain to him that his daddy was put on death row for 60 r.a.p.e.s