Darkness Visible

Darkness Visible

A Memoir of Madness

Book - 1990
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Random House, Inc.
A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Baker & Taylor
The author offers a depiction of his fight with the mental anguish of depression

Publisher: New York : Random House, c1990
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780394588889
Branch Call Number: B STYRON
Characteristics: 84 p. ; 21 cm


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Feb 06, 2020

What an excellent book. Someone articulating depression so accurately was a relief to read. So grateful such a good writer chose to reveal himself to thoroughly.

Mar 08, 2017

This is a fascinating look by a very erudite man into his own depression. We all know someone who suffers from this horrific disease. Be forewarned, however. Everyone's experience is different and someone who is depressed and reads this may be misled by Styron's own self-diagnosis and conclusions as to what led to his depression and how to "fix" it. However, it is helpful for someone who loves a depressed person to read this. Very insightful.

Feb 17, 2015

I read this very quickly (in about an hour or so). It is an honest look at one person's struggle with depression. I think the author does a great job and telling his story, but also in letting the reader know that his struggles are his own and that others may have different symptoms and that not all treatments work for everyone. I found it particularly telling in that prior to his mental illness, Styron admitted he couldn't understand someone taking their own life (which I think many people who haven't suffered from depression also feel) but while in his depression nearly did so. To me that speaks volumes to the seriousness of mental illness and the reason why 25 years after this book was written we still need to keep talking about it.

JCLBeckyC Nov 29, 2014

Styron's masterpiece about his descent into clinical depression. This short memoir is beautifully written despite the dark subject matter. Gives hope to those who suffer with clinical depression or other socially isolating mental illnesses. Highly recommended.

Oct 24, 2012

one of the best books on depression by someone who lived it and his take on the doctors and too much medication

Jul 06, 2012

A very astute look into depression. I am amazed that the author was able to write so vividly aobut his depression. Obviously written once he had resumed some semblence of mental health.

Oct 15, 2010

This is THE book to read for anyone who wants to understand depression. Strangely enough, it is comforting for those experiencing severe depression.

As Dan Hill recently wrote:

"Rather than psychiatrist's, writers - for example, William Styron in his gripping and jagged Darkness Visible-A Memoir of Madness-consistently come closer to deconstructing depression"
- Dan Hill, Me and My Shrinks, article in Maclean's, Oct 18, 2010, Vol 123, No 10


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