Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

by William Styron

Paperback

$13.61 $14.00 Save 3% Current price is $13.61, Original price is $14. You Save 3%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Thursday, October 18?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.
    Same Day shipping in Manhattan. 
    See Details

Overview

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron

A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679736394
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/1992
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 57,503
Product dimensions: 5.03(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.29(d)

About the Author

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.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After all the hype I'd heard about 'Darkness Visible', I found it a bit disappointing. Styron is clearly a great writer- few would dispute that. Nonetheless, I found his description of the subjective feeling and experience of depression to be somewhat lacking. Of course, it's very difficult to describe any subjective mental state, but nonetheless I didn't find his attempt too compelling. On the other hand, the book is very well-written and stylistically pleasing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read alot of great children's books such as Ella Enchanted, Destiny, Defender of the small, and The Time Warp Trio books, but I've never read a 'sophisticated and grown up' book before. I'm twelve, how else should I describe it? I do think this book is good. I had a hard time understanding what it meant at first, but later on I understood that no one who has not been afflicted with isnomnia will truly know the full depth of madness and emptiness that they feel. Styron, with intimate details, creates an illistration for us.
YoyoMitch More than 1 year ago
Depression is a disease that is hidden, horrific and is the fourth leading cause of death in America. Because the cause of their suffering is not apparent, most who suffer this affliction have to deal with the mis-understanding of others thus adding to the pain already present. How to describe the experience of this pain to others who have not been personally touched by it is akin to trying to explain the taste of chocolate to someone who has never heard of candy. Mr. Styron uses his impressive writing talents to achieve the near impossible with this short memoir, detailing the experience of major depression with such clarity that the reader will “feel” the darkness. The author’s depression, as he reflects on his life late in the book, began as a young man.  He noticed it was worsening early in 1985 but the symptoms were so familiar to him by then that its’ severity seemed to have sneaked up on him.  After a trip to Paris, where he was given a national award, a trip that was tortuous due to his worsening condition, he contacted and saw a psychiatrist. This particular M.D. was either: 1) incompetent, 2) woefully unfamiliar with Major Depressive Disorder and/or 3) needed to change professions. Mr. Styron’s degrading was swift, dramatic and nearly fatal. He relates the encounter with such clarity that the reader begins to understand the appeal suicide has on those suffering from this disorder. Fortunately, he received the help he needed before he followed the Siren’s call of the Big Sleep. It took a seven-week inpatient hospital stay for him to find the stability he needed to recover. This is not an easy book to read, nor is it one that should be avoided.  For those who know the Noon Day Demon personally, it will be a familiar visit with an unwelcomed guest. For those who are connected with those who are suffers, the pain will be in the realization of the depth of anguish their loved ones suffer. For those who have no personal experience with this disease, the uneasiness will be reading a real life horror story. Everyone who reads this book will be well served in learning some of the “what to do” and “what not to do” in response to depression and its symptoms. The author is fortunate in that he could afford a seven-week inpatient stay to address his illness. To have the resources Mr. Styron had is something that few have available or could afford. There are other recourses for those who are dealing with this issue readily accessible within most communities. Medications that effectively relieve most of the symptoms of depression, for the majority of those so afflicted, are commonly available and are constantly being improved.  Mental health professionals offer therapy that can help the depressive in addition to, or in lieu of, the medication.  This book rightfully earned Mr. Styron recognition both for his writing and for his topic.  He lived long enough to personally receive the accolades and his death was due to his age, not his own hand.  This is the ending message of Darkness Visible – one can overcome such mental darkness and walk in clarity.
Holly_George More than 1 year ago
A good read! Could totally relate to what the author was saying/ describing. Reading this was like having a chat with a good friend. Would recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Full marks for Styron coming out at a time when depression needed a smart poster boy -- because mental illness does a great job dividing our world. However, it simply isn't true (as per the publisher's claim) that Styron is the first to convey the full terror of depression -- Hemingway and Chekhov immediately come to mind with their short stories, for instance, that don't actually name depression or madness, but evoke it's cruelties beautifully. Styron certainly has done a magnificent job with this memoir, in large part because he keeps everything understated (certainly restrained). His book invites serious reflection, and it's worth considering his bursts of anger as symptomatic more than didactic. I also recommend IN THE GHOST COUNTRY as another interesting book that intimately follows a man's descent into a haunted madness as he walks to the South Pole. A stunning fall to the bottom of the world indeed.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Excellent piece of literature. An individual personal account of his experience with a disease of the brain, or disease of the soul (psyche) an ancient disease, but which to this day remains mysterious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really provides a good insight on depression, treatment for the disease and discusses some psychopharmcological interventions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago