42 pages 1 hour read

William Styron

Sophie's Choice

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1979

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Important Quotes

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“Then he turned to me and said, ‘Son, write your guts out.’ And, weaving down the hallway, he was gone out of my life forever.” 


(Chapter 1, Page 26)

Stingo receives this advice from a colleague before quitting his editing job. When he hears these words, he doesn’t yet realize the visceral toll his relationship with Sophie and Nathan will take. It will be another 20 years before he writes them out of his guts. 

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“There was something subtly and inexplicably wrong, and had I been able to use a turn of phrase current some years later, I might have said that Yetta’s house gave off bad vibrations.” 


(Chapter 2, Page 48)

Stingo makes this observation shortly after moving into Yetta’s house. He has no basis for this perception yet. His premonition won’t be fulfilled until he returns to it as a crime scene on the night of Sophie and Nathan’s suicide. 

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“But Sophie and Nathan had quite simply laid siege to my imagination.” 


(Chapter 3, Page 62)

Stingo offers this comment shortly after meeting the couple upstairs for the first time. He little realizes the hold both of them will have over his entire life, not simply his imagination. Twenty years after their deaths, they still exert a pull that compels Stingo to tell their story.

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