Page 103. " It is in these Handel records I got for Christmas, 'I Know That My Redeemer Liveth,' that make me cry "

'I Know That My Redeemer Liveth' comes from Handel's Messiah, written in 1742.

'I Know That My Redeemer Liveth' on Spotify

Page 106. " in a scene by Watteau or Fragonard "

Antoine Watteau (1684 – 1721) and Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard (1780 - 1850) were French painters. Watteau in particular is credited with inventing theatrical bucolic scenes of the sort described here.

Page 107. " would turn to page 350 of Studs Lonigan "

Studs Lonigan is the protagonist of the eponymous trilogy of novels by the American author James T Farrell (1904-1979). The trilogy examines Irish-American life in the South Side of Chicago, and was made into a film in 1960, starring Jack Nicholson.


Page 121. " Because I would not stop for Death "

Emily Dickinson was a nineteenth century American poet who led an eccentric, reclusive life in Amherst, Massachusetts. Dickinson's preoccupation with death was an important influence on Styron, especially while he was writing his first novel, Lie Down in Darkness (the novel Stingo appears to be writing in Sophie's Choice). Some critics suggest that Nathan's character in relation to Sophie is linked to that of Death in relation to the narrative voice in this poem.