The Confessions of Nat Turner
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The Confessions of Nat Turner

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In 1831 Nat Turner awaits death in a Virginia jail cell. He is a slave, a preacher, and the leader of the only effective slave revolt in the history of 'that peculiar institution'. William Styron's ambitious and stunningly accomplished novel is Turner's confession, made to his jailers under the duress of his God, a first-person narrative that depicts a good man's transformation into an avenging angel. Encompasses the betrayals, cruelties and humiliations that made up slavery - and that still sear the collective psyches of both races.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 303.91g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099285568
  • 9780099285564
  • 184,602

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Review quote

"Styron has brought to bear on the experience of the Afro-American his penetrating intelligence and his immense skills in creating character, writing dialogue and confronting explosive themes" Financial Times "Immensely powerful and compelling" Spectator "Magnificent...It is one of those rare books that show us our American past, our present - ourselves - is a dazzling shaft of light...A triumph" New York Times

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Back cover copy

'Magnificent...a dazzling shaft of light...A triumph' New York Times In 1831 Nat Turner awaits death in a Virginia jail cell. He is a slave, a preacher, and the leader of the only effective slave revolt in the history of 'that peculiar institution'. William Styron's ambitious and stunningly accomplished novel is Turner's confession, made to his jailers under the duress of his God. Encompasses the betrayals, cruelties and humiliations that made up slavery - and that still sear the collective psyches of both races. See also: Darkness Visible

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Flap copy

"In the late summer of 1831, in a remote section of southeastern Virginia, there took place the only effective, sustained revolt in the annals of American Negro slavery... The revolt was led by a remarkable Negro preacher named Nat Turner, an educated slave who felt himself divinely ordained to annihilate all the white people in the region. The Confessions of Nat Turner is narrated by Nat himself as he lingers in jail through the cold autumnal days before his execution. The compelling story ranges over the whole of Nat's Life, reaching its inevitable and shattering climax that bloody day in August. The Confessions of Nat Turner is not only a masterpiece of storytelling; is also reveals in unforgettable human terms the agonizing essence of Negro slavery. Through the mind of a slave, Willie Styron has re-created a catastrophic event, and dramatized the intermingled miseries, frustrations--and hopes--which caused this extraordinary black man to rise up out of the early mists of our history and strike down those who held his people in bondage.

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About William Styron

William Styron (1925-2006), a native of the Tidewater region of Virginia, was a graduate of Duke University and a veteran of the Marine Corps. His books include Lie Down in Darkness, The Long March, Set This House on Fire, The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie's Choice, This Quiet Dust, Darkness Visible and A Tidewater Morning. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the Howells Medal, the American Book Award and the Legion d'Honneur. With his wife, the poet and activist Rose Styron, he lived for most of his adult life in Roxbury, Connecticut, and in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts.

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