William Styron Reading from Lie Down in Darkness
William Styron

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Narrated By: William Styron

Duration: 16 minutes

What to expect

Lie Down in Darkness traces the tragic fate of a Southern family with acute sensitivity, in a style that mirrors the inner lives of its four major characters. The parents are estranged, with each favoring one of their two daughters. The father dotes on Peyton, the family beauty, while the mother is devoted to Maudie, the disabled child. The novel, told in flashbacks, opens with Peyton's funeral after her emotional unraveling and suicide. The passage Styron reads here shows Maudie's magical encounter with the workman, Bennie.


Fiction: general and literary, Classic fiction

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“Brilliant…A triumph of characterization.”

New York Times

“Richly and poetically written.”


“Achieves real beauty.”

Washington Post

“Styron is a young writer of uncommon gifts.”