Cover image for The confessions of Nat Turner
Title:
The confessions of Nat Turner
ISBN:
9780679736639
Edition:
1st Vintage international ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Vintage Books, 1993 [i.e. 1992]
Physical Description:
xviii, 455 p. ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Random House, 1967.
Reading Level:
1450 L Lexile
Summary:
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. This story 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.
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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

William Clark Styron was born in Newport News, Virginia on June 11, 1925. 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. He was a Marine lieutenant during World War II and while serving during the Korean War, was recalled from active duty because of faulty eyesight. After leaving the service, he helped start a magazine called the Paris Review and remained as an advisory editor.

His first novel, Lie Down in Darkness, was published in 1951. His other books include The Long March and Set This House on Fire. He won several awards including the Pulitzer Prize for The Confessions of Nat Turner and the American Book Award for Sophie's Choice, which was made into a movie in 1982.

His short story, A Tidewater Morning, was the basis for the movie Shadrach, which Styron wrote the screenplay for with his daughter. He also wrote several nonfiction books including The Quiet Dust and Other Writings and Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. He died on November 1, 2006 at the age of 81.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Styron's 1967 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel depicting the leader of a slave revolt is the latest offering in Random's "Modern Library." This is the least expensive hardcover edition of Turner currently available. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.