Alexandra Styron's parents-the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sophie's Choice and his political activist wife, Rose-were, for half a century, leading players on the world's cultural stage. Alexandra was raised under both the halo of her father's brilliance and the long shadow of his troubled mind. From Styron's youth and precocious literary debut to the triumphs of his best-known books and on through his spiral into depression, Reading My Father portrays the epic sweep of an American artist's life. It is also a tale of filial love, beautifully written with humor, compassion, and grace.
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by Alexandra Horowitz
by Alexandra Fuller
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by Annie Dillard
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"When you first hear Alexandra Styron's monotone reading of her memoir about growing up the youngest child of the towering novelist William Styron, you might inwardly groan about another non-professional reader. But quickly you realize that the studied detachment in her delivery is no deficiency on her part but an exact auditory counterpart to the emotional pitch she sets for herself as writer of this brave book. Styron the daughter never succumbs to sentimentality; she wants to understand this gigantic, deeply troubled man whose moodiness, indifference, and casual cruelties dominated and cowed his household even as he wrote some of the twentieth century's most luminous novels. By the end, you recognize that the detachment has been a conceit necessary to enable the daughter to look clear-eyed and compassionately at the father she loved despite all. M.O. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine"
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