Saturday, June 2, 2012

Four top accounts of misunderstood lives

H. W. Brands's latest book is The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr.

At The Daily Beast, he named a four best list of books on misunderstood lives, including:
The Confessions of Nat Turner
by William Styron

Nat Turner was a black slave who sparked a bloody uprising in Virginia in 1831 and left behind—after his capture and execution—a brief, cryptic account of what made him do it. Or maybe he didn’t leave the account, which was alleged by some to have been the work in part or whole of the lawyer, Thomas Gray, who proceeded to publish it. Novelist William Styron goes far beyond the Turner account to imagine what might have been going through his head, heart, and loins. Styron’s tale provoked great controversy, not least for imputing sexual motives to Turner’s act of rebellion, but the book nonetheless garnered the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1968.
Read about the other books Brands tagged.

The Confessions of Nat Turner is one of Jon Clinch's favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue