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Extended Audio Sample Reading My Father: A Memoir Audiobook, by Alexandra Styron Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 5 4.03 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alexandra Styron Narrator: Alexandra Styron Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2011 ISBN: 9781611745009
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Writer William Styron's (Sophie's Choice) youngest child explores the life of a fascinating and difficult man who battled major depression. From his youth and precocious literary debut to the triumphs of his best-known books and spiral into depressi Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Readers passionate about American literature will be fascinated by Alexandra’s insightful tales about her complicated father and his circle, which included Peter Matthiessen, Norman Mailer, and Arthur Miller.”

    Booklist

  • “[Styron] draws subtle comparisons to other giants of her father’s literary fraternity—pugnacious, capricious, and sometimes cruel men like Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller—to outline the question at the heart of her reflection: Is his art enough of an excuse? The memoir’s eloquent prose and fluid structure suggest his talent may be hereditary.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “At the heart of Reading My Father, Alexandra Styron’s beautifully honest memoir of her father…is her attempt to make sense of the discrepancy between his deeply moral novels, whose focus on man’s inhumanity to man elicits so much pathos, and his egregious behavior ‘to the people closest to him’…Zigzagging through time with the finesse of a skier attacking a mogul-ridden slope, Alexandra Styron gives us a multi-dimensional, continually fascinating portrait of William Styron’s life.”

    Washington Post

  • “Alexandra Styron is a natural writer, fluid and engaging…A consummate guide to her father’s tumultuous life. Styron fans will delight in this unique portrait of a true literary lion.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Ardent, sophisticated, and entirely winning…Her touch throughout this memoir is quite fine and very sure. As tough as she is on her father, she sees clearly the better man he could sometimes be…This is a grown-up memoir, taut and true.”

    New York Times

  • Selected for the May 2011 Indie Next List
  • A 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Biography

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 2/12/2014

    " I confess, I didn't recognize a lot of the names of the glamorous literati that Bill Styron mingled with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha Birnbaum | 2/9/2014

    " beautifully written, fearless and riveting "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jake | 1/31/2014

    " Eloquently written, haunting memoir by Alexandra Styron about her brilliant, troubled writer father. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 1/28/2014

    " She is indeed her father's daughter...well-written. Recommended. I was unaware of Styron's friendship w/ Jones (From Here to Eternity). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/22/2014

    " eBook. To start with Styron on the strength of 'Sophie's Choice' alone is one of my top five favorite authors. I knew he was an asshole, but until reading this book didn't know how big an asshole he was. Mental illness, in his case depression, is a terrible thing. But in the life B.S. it does not excuse his horrific behavior. Also, unlike most "unhappy child of famous (fill in blank) memoirs" Alexandra is a pretty damn good writer who didn't have a "as told to" ghostwriter. Good book.... bad man. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 1/20/2014

    " Growing up, Alexandra, the baby of the family, is puzzled and fascinated by her father. William Styron is a successful writer, but also an alcoholic that suffers from bouts of psychosis and depression. Lots of family dynamics sprinkled with other famous people on Cape Cod and in Connecticut. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Natalie Lovejoy | 1/18/2014

    " I found this book difficult to read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edward Sullivan | 1/14/2014

    " A vivid, poignant, and totally absorbing memoir. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darleen | 1/9/2014

    " Interesting memoir of the youngest daughter of William Styron. She expores what it was like growing up and as an adult with her famous author-father who suffered from mental illness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne Cohen | 1/4/2014

    " Alexandra Styron's memoir of growing up with William Styron as her father. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hybridmobile | 12/31/2013

    " I really enjoyed her writing & her story. I need to add Styrone's books to my to-be-read list. Hopefully, they are as good as the hype. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Al | 12/28/2013

    " I enjoyed this book, but I think I enjoy memoirs more than most. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elle | 12/23/2013

    " Well, William Styron was a great American author but was not father of the year, by any stretch of the imagination. How can great people be so terrible to their children, leaving them adrift in the world? Abusive and controlling genius. What else is new? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Saundra Brookes | 12/7/2013

    " Loved it. I read it in three sittings, and always looked forward to getting back to the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 5/2/2013

    " Perfectly written memoir for anybody interested in the great mid-century writers in general or William Styron in particular. He was the author of Sophie's Choice, Confessions of Nat Turner, and Lie Down in Darkness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah N. | 8/16/2012

    " Loved it. Beautifully written, sad, funny, insightful. Everything a memoir should be. As well, it's a serious examination of what it means to be a writer, as well as what it means to be a writer with a mental illness. Brilliant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 8/9/2012

    " Very personal and a powerful tale told by the youngest daughter of William Styron, who struggled with mental illness. I also loved learning more about the life Styron led, and the people he associated with through his very cultured life. I highly recommend the book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Connie Lavoie | 11/16/2011

    " brutally and beautifully written memoir "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat Lampe | 11/6/2011

    " I loved this book. Her writing was beautiful and I felt she was candid yet kind. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank | 6/26/2011

    " Excellent writing; heredity or environment? Hard to tell, the author has both. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 5/29/2011

    " I loved this book. Her writing was beautiful and I felt she was candid yet kind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elle | 5/27/2011

    " Well, William Styron was a great American author but was not father of the year, by any stretch of the imagination. How can great people be so terrible to their children, leaving them adrift in the world? Abusive and controlling genius. What else is new? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 5/26/2011

    " Wonderful book. What a difficult father to have and yet ... Al is a great writer. Highly recommended "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed | 5/19/2011

    " A vivid, poignant, and totally absorbing memoir. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keith | 5/16/2011

    " Elegantly written; painstakingly researched, Ms. Styron name-drops just enough to make this a spellbinding read, but not too much to be annoying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 5/11/2011

    " If you are a Styron fan, you will certainly appreciate this biography from his daughter. Lie Down In Darkness is one of the most stirring pieces of literature I have ever read, so it was fascinating to read about the time surrounding that. This is a beautiful portrait of a father by his daughter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendyhudson | 5/7/2011

    " Loved reading this thoughtful and deft peek at a fascinatingly complicated life. The descriptions of what the Vineyard meant to her family are especially poignant for Nantucketers--hope we can get her to come visit us here on the Other Island! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess | 5/3/2011

    " An interesting account of what it was like for the author, living with a brooding and half-mad genius. Beautifully-written, if not occasionally self-indulgent and redundant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 4/28/2011

    " I confess, I didn't recognize a lot of the names of the glamorous literati that Bill Styron mingled with. "

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About the Author
Author Alexandra StyronAlexandra Styron holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia University. All the Finest Girls is her first book.