The Suicide Run : Five Tales of the Marine Corps (Paperback)

Author: Styron, William

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Product Overview

The Suicide Run collects five of William Styron''s meticulously rendered narratives based on his real-life experiences as a U.S. Marine. In "Blankenship," Styron draws on his stint as a guard at a stateside military prison at the end of World War II. "Marriott, the Marine" and "The Suicide Run"--which Styron composed as part of an intended novel that he set aside to write Sophie''s Choice--depict the surreal experience of being conscripted a second time, after World War II, to serve in the Korean War. "My Father''s House" captures the frustration of a soldier trying to become a civilian again. In "Elobey, Annobon, and Corisco," a soldier attempts to exorcise the dread of an approaching battle by daydreaming about far-off islands, visited vicariously through his childhood stamp collection.
Perhaps the last volume from one of literature''s greatest voices, The Suicide Run brings to life the drama, absurdity, and heroism that forever changed the men who served in the Marine Corps.


Publisher Random House Inc
Mfg Part# 9780812980240
SKU 213686565
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0812980247
Release Date 9/14/2010
Author Info
William Styron
William Styron's father, an engineer, came from an old Virginia slave-owning family; his mother was a Northerner who died of cancer when he was 12. Deeply troubled by his mother's painful death, Styron was sent to an Episcopal boarding school. He then enrolled in college but dropped out to join the Marines during World War II. He saw no action; however, part of his O.C.S. training was a writing course at Duke University, which set him on the path of literature. After the war, he studied at Duke, graduating in 1947 and moving to New York to work as an editor at McGraw-Hill. After a few months he quit, took another writing course, and began work on his first novel. LIE DOWN IN DARKNESS was published in 1951 and won the Prix de Rome in 1952. Styron returned to the Marines for the Korean War, an experience he used in his second novel THE LONG MARCH (1956). After the war, Styron joined the American expatriate set in Paris, becoming friends with George Plimpton, Peter Matthiessen, and Donald Hall, among others, and participated in the founding of the Paris Review in the early 1950s. He also traveled to the Riviera and to Italy, where he met and married Rose Burgunder, an American poet. They returned to the U.S. and settled in Connecticut, where Styron has lived much of his life since then. With the publication of his Pulitzer Prize-winning THE CONFESSIONS OF NAT TURNER in 1967 and SOPHIE'S CHOICE in 1979 (which was made into a successful film in 1983), Styron became recognized as a major voice in American fiction, an author willing to grapple with terrible moral dilemmas from both a historical and individual perspective. One of Styron's most famous quotes was that "Human beings are a hair's breadth away from catastrophe at all times." In 1990 Styron turned to the memoir form, and in DARKNESS VISIBLE, he exposed his long struggle with depression, debilitating writer's block, and suicidal thoughts. However he overcame his depression, and died a natural death in Martha's Vineyard in 2006.
"These fragments of thinly fictionalized autobiographical narratives carry the hallmarks of outstanding midcentury American literature, not least in their blurring of fiction and fact, and in their sheer literary exuberance....To read the present collection is to be reminded of [Styron's] talent..."
"[E]xceptionally interesting....[The stories] are strongly autobiographical and very funny, much in the way that the opening section of SOPHIE'S CHOICE is autobiographical and funny; without knowing it, Styron would seem to have been making a practice run for the finest of his novels in this unfinished but tantalizing work."
"Styron chronicles what happens to those damaged by battles they did not fight--those who must dwell always in anticipation of the horrors to come."
"[Styron] writes about the stuff of war with his meticulous eloquence, his habitually sonorous prose and mythopoeic bent. Fear and the rush of bravery take stage center here. The style of these stories is, however, more notable than their substance, and it carries risks."
From the Publisher
Annotation THE SUICIDE RUN contains five short stories written by the late Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist William Styron (SOPHIE'S CHOICE, DARKNESS VISIBLE) inspired by his experiences as a soldier in both World War II and the Korean War.
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0194
Publisher Random House Trade
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