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Extended Audio Sample Reading My Father: A Memoir, by Alexandra Styron Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (466 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alexandra Styron Narrator: Alexandra Styron Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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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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.”


  • “[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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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). "

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About the Author
Author Alexandra Styron

Alexandra Styron is the author of a novel All the Finest Girls. A graduate of Barnard College and the MFA program at Columbia University, Alexandra’s work has appeared in several anthologies as well as the New Yorker, New York Times, Avenue, Real Simple, and Interview, among other publications. She lives with her husband and two children in Brooklyn, New York.