Born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1925, William Styron was educated at Duke University. He served in the Marine Corps during the last war, and was recalled to service during the Korean War. After 1952, he lived mainly in Europe, before settling in a rural part of Connecticut.
He is the author of The Long March, Lie Down in Darkness, Set This House on Fire and Sophie's Choice. He has also published Darkness Visible, the remarkable story of his descent into depression, the collection This Quiet Dust and Other Writings, and A Tidewater Morning. William Styron died in 2006.