Lie down in Darkness

Lie down in Darkness

by William Styron
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Lie down in Darkness by William Styron

In this novel, the South looms dark and ominous in the background with its Biblical rhetoric, its conflict between a tradition of religious fundamentalism and modern skepticism, racial contrasts and the industrialization of a rural society.

More than a novel of time and place, it is the story of a tormented family submerged infidelity and driven by a vengeful love that is blocked, hurt and perverted: Peyton Loftis, who frantically needs a husband precisely because she loves her father; the decadent Milton, whose infidelity has made his marriage no more than a stage drama; and Helen, his wife, who loves only what she can control.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452261280
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 04/01/1978
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(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.


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


Davidson College and Duke University, both in North Carolina; courses at the New School for Social Research in New York

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Lie Down in Darkness (Enhanced Edition) 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
gsh More than 1 year ago
William Styron is one of the most under rated American authors of all time. His ability to draw you in to the time and place of his narrative is amazing. The dynamics between the characters in this book are complex and heart breaking. His depiction of the pastoral old south and the social practices of the period are beautiful and complete. Read William Styron!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After finishing this book I offered it to my mother, who works with families in similar circumstances as a mental health therapist, and she couldn't get past the first fifty pages. It is utterly painful reading at times, not for the prose but for the slow, inevitable march toward doom you can see escalating throughout the book, culminating in Peyton's seering monologue. Driven to tears to laughter to tears again, this is not a book of light reading, nor is it a book designed to deflate one's faith in mankind. I would describe Lie Down in Darkness as a novel probing human fallibility, pain, and loss--things that all of us have to deal with in our lives. It's worthwile if for only that reason. That Styron should elevate the story through marvelous use of the language suggests, in some sense, the seriousness with which he takes this story. I recommend this book for anyone looking to see people as they often are: weak, tired, sad, despondent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a magazine article which mentioned that this book might be made into a movie so I decided to read it. It was slow and hard to follow. I could not relate to or sympathize with any of the characters. I didn't like any of them. But I was prepared to slug it out until the end when the book froze on my nook. I tried to get it going again but no use so I ended up archiving it. The logical conclusion is that it was so bad even my nook wouldn't let me read it. HA!
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