Styron based this riveting novel on an historical incident that shook the pre-Civil War South to its very foundations. Nat Turner led a bloody revolt against the tyranny of slavery during which many white men, women and children were brutally killed. The book is an examination of the social climate that incubated the hatred, tracing Turner's life back to his childhood when his owner recognized enough potential in the boy to teach him to read. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. — Alden Graves
The story that inspired the major motion picture The Birth of a Nation (2016)
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.
About the Author
William Styron (1925-2006), a native of the Virginia Tidewater, was a graduate of Duke University and a veteran of the U.S. 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, the Légion d’Honneur, and the Witness to Justice Award from the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation. 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, where he is buried.