After William Styron died, his wife Rose was cleaning up their Connecticut house in preparation for it to be sold when she discovered an enormous pile of letters in her husband’s old writing room. The letters had been sent to him from family, friends, colleagues, old girlfriends, literary luminaries, nearly everyone he had come in contact with during his long career.
blues brothers

Through conversation and rainy walks around West Chop, Art Buchwald, William Styron and Mike Wallace — dubbed The Blues Brothers — battled depression together.

And then the three men, each luminaries in their field — Mr. Buchwald, a humorist, Mr. Styron, a novelist, and Mr. Wallace, a journalist — took their struggle with mental illness public, using their talents and fame to lessen the stigma of depression and other illnesses.

art buchwald

In the memory of three well-known Vineyard residents who struggled with depression, a special fund has been established through Martha’s Vineyard Community Services to support mental health counseling services.

Called the Blues Brothers Fund, the fund honors humorist Art Buchwald, novelist William Styron, and journalist Mike Wallace, and is meant to raise money and awareness for those struggling with mental illnesses.

alexandra styron

In a 1967 Life magazine story, the late William Stryon was quoted as saying: “Writing is a cruel and wracking pursuit. I hope none of my children follow in my path.”

Alexandra Styron has done just that, and in her book — Reading My Father — she has found a lifeline away from the scar tissue of her upbringing to a deep and compelling portrait of a complex person — father and writer.


William Styron, the acclaimed novelist and leading literary figure of his generation whose summer home on the Vineyard Haven harbor has long been the hub of the area known colloquially as writer's row, died Wednesday at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital. He was 81.

The cause of death was pneumonia. Mr. Styron had been in failing health for a number of years.