*Reading my Father*

The author is Alexandra Styron, daughter of William, who is portrayed as manic depressive.  I found this memoir compelling, and it has been making many “best of” lists.  Here is one excerpt:

By all accounts, my sister was a cheerful baby, smart and pretty, with an easy manner.  In short, an ideal firstborn.  Daddy was enthralled.  “Take a lesson from me and don’t get too interested in the child,” Irwin Shaw wrote in a congratulatory letter.  “Since Adam’s first birthday, I’ve barely written a word, as it is much more interesting to watch all the subtle and terrible currents that run through a complex human being than to sit at a typewriter and battle with the comparatively flat and lifeless material of art.  Dole the child out to yourself in small doses, for your career’s sake.”

You can buy it here.


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