There was something regal about Bill Styron. He spoke quietly and with dignity in public forums. Politically a liberal, he was in his craft a conservative, a painstaking writer with the Southern gift for the elegantly complex sentence. He was a firm believer in the novel as a major act of the culture. His novels are repositories of devastating moral history slavery in The Confessions of Nat Turner, genocide in Sophie's Choice. His classic report of his own clinical depression, Darkness Visible, has served to hearten thousands who have suffered that disease. He stands tall in the pantheon of American writers of the past half-century.
Doctorow is a novelist and essayist
Next Casper Weinberger