RIP, William Styron

New York Times: William Styron, Novelist, Dies at 81. While others will remember him for Sophie’s Choice, Lie Down in Darkness, or The Confessions of Nat Turner, I will of necessity remember this writer from my hometown of Newport News for Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, which he wrote in 1990 about his struggles with depression and which proved (aside from a short story collection) to be his last published work.

When I read Darkness Visible in the early 90s, there were few writers who had addressed the sufferings of depression in a public, accessible, direct way—and virtually no successful ones. Styron’s writing gave me pause as I reflected on its parallels with my own experiences. In retrospect, it has given me hope that depression need not always marginalize the sufferer.

Other encomia to Styron via Technorati.