Is one ever truly ready to face death? Can one, without faith, view death as a beginning rather than an end? François Mitterrand is the man "dying without God," and he offers these pages as his final, unforgettable testament.
Franz-Olivier Giesbertwas born in Wilmington, Delaware, and spent the first three years of his life in America. He is a novelist, biographer, and television host, and has been Washington correspondent forLe Nouvel Observateurand editor-in-chief ofLe Figaro. He lives in Paris. From the Hardcover edition.
William Styron, 1925 - William Clark Styron was born June 11, 1925 in Newport News, Virginia to William Clark Styron, a marine engineer, and Pauline Abraham Styron, who died when he was thirteen years old. He was a descendent of the Stioring family that arrived in Virginia in 1650. He attended Duke University and took courses at the New School for Social Research in New York City, which started him on his writing career. Styron was a Marine lieutenant during World War II and while serving during the Korean War, was recalled from active duty because of faulty eyesight. In 1953, he married Rose Burgunder in Rome and they had four children. During high school, Styron wrote short stories for the school's newspaper. While attending college, he wrote poems for the literary magazine. After leaving the service, he helped start a magazine called the Paris Review in the city of lights and remained as an advisory editor. Styron's first novel was "Lie Down in Darkness" (1951) and was followed by "The Long March" (1955). In 1960, he published "Set This House on Fire," which tells how American expatriates got along in Italy during the 1950's. "The Confessions of Nat Turner" (1967), which won the Pulitzer Prize, tells the story in the narrative voice of the real life black leader during the 1831 slave uprising in Virginia. Perhaps the novel he's best known for is "Sophie's Choice" (1979), which tells the story of Sophie, who, during the Holocaust, had to choose between one of the lives of her two healthy children. The novel was made into a movie in 1982 and won the American Book Award. "A Tidewater Morning" (1993) is a short story that tells of an elderly former slave who travels by foot back to Virginia to be buried where he grew up. The movie Shadrach is based on this story, and Styron wrote the screenplay with his daughter. Styron has also written nonfiction and include the titles "The Quiet Dust and Other Writings" (1982) and "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness" (1990).