William Styron is considered one of the great American novelists. His works are legend: Lie Down in Darkness (1951), published at age 26, The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), and Sophie's Choice (1979), for which Styron won the Pulitzer Prize. Styron's own memoir, Darkness Visible (1990), chronicled his own battle with major depression.
Styron's depression suffuses Reading My Father, his own daughter's memoir of growing up in his turbulent world. Alexandra Styron was raised under both the halo of her father's brilliance and the long shadow of his troubled mind. In constant pursuit of The Great Novel, Styron and his work were the dominant force in his family's life. Reading My Father portrays an American artist's life and his daughter's attempt to understand his life. It is written with love, humor, compassion, and the grace of time.