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Next Up: The Confessions Of Nat Turner

I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction, but this one looks pretty good.

The Confessions of Nat Turner, written by William Styron, is historical fiction in a sense. The novel recounts the first-person narrative of Nat Turner, who led a slave revolt in Virginia in 1831.

Here are a few quick facts about The Confessions of Nat Turner and William Styron:

  • The Confessions of Nat Turner was published in 1967 and won the Pulitzer Prize that same year.
  • The novel is inspired by a confession the historical Nat Turner gave to the white lawyer, Thomas Gray.
  • The novel received mixed reviews from African Americans. While Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin praised the book, other African Americans felt Styron’s characters were caricatures.
  • In an interview with CBS News, former President Bill Clinton said The Confessions of Nat Turner was one of his favorite books.
  • Styron was most famous for having written Confessions, as well as Sophie’s Choice.
  • He passed away from pneumonia in 2006 at the age of 81.

Again, guys, I’m really excited about diving into this fairly lengthy novel, nearly 600 pages.

Anyone read it?

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12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Styron was one of our greatest writers. Think the criticism coming from African American critics was really that he wasn’t African American. If writers followed that advice, male writers would never write as female characters, female writers would never write as male characters, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    September 24, 2014
  2. I recognized the name but had to look him up. Sophie’s Choice, ah, now I know who he is. I enjoy well written historical fiction, so I may have to give this one a try. I hope you’ll share your thoughts after reading!

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  3. I haven’t read it but it’s now going on my list!

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  4. Jetagain #

    Historical fiction can be really fantastic. Hillary Mantel’s first two volumes of her Thomas Cromwell trilogy–WOLF HALL and BRINGING UP THE BODIES leaves me crazy with impatience to read her, as yet unwritten, conclusion. I had to satisfy myself with her wonderful novel of the French Revolution, A PLACE OF GREATER SAFETY. Also, Sharon Penman’s trilogy retelling the conflict between Wales and the English Plantagenets in the high Middle Ages, (first volume entitled HERE BE DRAGONS) is gripping. For American history don’t overlook Gone With the Wind–racist but great insight into the white psyche of the south. Also, Jim Harrison’s LEGENDS OF THE FALL is probably discounted because the film was so bad but the prose is “Fitzgeraldian” and the subject haunting. Read anything by Willa Cather and Stegner’s magnificent, ANGLE OF REPPOSE. I could go on…..

    Like

    September 24, 2014
    • The most recent one I’ve read is Ragtime, I believe. By EL Doctorow. Didn’t do much for me.

      Like

      September 25, 2014
      • Jetagain #

        I never got around to reading Ragtime–but think seriously about the other titles I’ve mentioned. Also, SEA OF GRASS by Conrad Richter.

        Like

        September 25, 2014
  5. I haven’t read it yet, but after reading what has been said here, it’s going on my list! Thanks for posting.

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  6. Going on my reading list also! Thanks 🙂

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  7. Plongeon forwards Robert!

    Like

    September 25, 2014

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