In this extraordinary novel, Stingo, an inexperienced twenty-two year old Southerner, takes us back to the summer of 1947 and a boarding house in a leafy Brooklyn suburb. There he meets Nathan, a fiery Jewish intellectual; and Sophie, a beautiful and fragile Polish Catholic. Stingo is drawn into the heart of their passionate and destructive relationship as witness, confidant and supplicant. Ultimately, he arrives at the dark core of Sophie's past: her memories of pre-war Poland, the concentration camp and - the essence of her terrible secret - her choice.
"A masterpiece, [which leaves] more conventional treatments of the Holocaust, such as Schindler's List, looking obtuse and sentimental" (The Times)
"William Styron's Sophie's Choice is a landmark of mid-20th-century American fiction - an impressively fat novel that most literate Americans claim to have read even if they haven't" (Sunday Telegraph)
"A compassionate, brilliantly written novel" (The Times)
"Styron is a writer's writer, capable of setting a pastoral idyll in Brooklyn, and the traumas narrated occur alongside a classic American coming-of-age story" (Xan Brooks Guardian, 1000 novels everyone must read)
About the Author
Born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1925, William Styron was educated at Duke University. He served in the Marine Corps during the last war, and was recalled to service during the Korean War. After 1952, he lived mainly in Europe, before settling in a rural part of Connecticut. He died in 2006.