Novelist, born in Newport News, Virginia, USA. Educated at Duke University, he studied writing at the New School for Social Research in New York City. His first novel, Lie Down in Darkness, was published in 1951. Concerned with oppression in its myriad forms, he tackled racism in The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967, Pulitzer), and survivors of the Holocaust in Sophie's Choice (1979, filmed 1982). Later works include the autobiographical Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness (1990) and A Tidewater Morning: Three Tales from Youth (1993).
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