by William Styron
In BriefIn 1947, a young writer meets a charming but deeply troubled New York couple. Sophie is a beautiful Polish émigré, Nathan a Jewish-American genius. As Sophie gradually reveals her horrific experiences in a Nazi concentration camp, and Nathan becomes increasingly mentally disturbed, the writer is drawn ever further into their self-destructive love.
Why you should read itA powerfully moving account of the Holocaust is paired with a complex and distressing portrait of a tortured relationship in this seminal tragedy. Though unbearably sad in parts, the novel’s themes of slavery, guilt, cruelty and despair are balanced with enough humour and humanity to make this a compellingly readable classic.