Havanas in Camelot

Havanas in Camelot

Several months before the onset of his final illness, William Styron began to assemble materials for a collection of his personal essays. Most of the items in Havanas in Camelot, including the title essay, are his selections. The final arrangement of the materials was made by Rose Styron, his widow.  The collection includes a memoir of Styron’s brief friendship with John F. Kennedy; an account of his incarceration in the VD ward on a Marine Corps training base during World War II; recollections of Truman Capote, James Baldwin, and Terry Southern; a tribute to Mark Twain; and an evocation of the town of Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard. Also included are two items (“Moviegoer” and “Too Late for Conversion or Prayer”) previously published only in French and a heretofore unpublished account by Styron of his daily walks with his dog (“Walking with Aquinnah”).

A sampling of reviews:

Michiko Kakutani, “Styron’s Essays Give Glimpses into a Life Spent in Good Company,” New York Times, 15 April 2008.

David Leavitt, “Styron’s Choices,” New York Times Book Review, 11 May 2008.

Katie Baker, “A Writer’s Brush with Fate,” Newsweek, 5 May 2008.

Bob Minzesheimer, “Vonnegut, Styron: Memories of Mastery,” USA Today, 24 April 2008, p. 7D.

Marc Weingarten, “Havanas in Camelot,” Los Angeles Times Book Review, 20 April 2008.

Jordan Davis, “Havanas in Camelot,” Times Literary Supplement (London), 5 December 2008: p. 29.

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