“As soon as I got back here [to Roxbury, Conn.] from Paris I had to go down south for that wretched lecture tour in Va. and N.C. The U of Va was a drag — I felt like a pariah in that smug place, almost no one showed up for my talk! — but this was cancelled out by my turn-out at the U of N.C. — nearly a thousand students, all rapt and worshipping except for the usual phalanx of a half a dozen or maybe a dozen black folk who did their usual childish gig of trying, unsuccessfully, to embarrass me by walking out.
“Anyway, I think I’m going to transfer my state allegiance from Va. to North Carolina. The kids in Chapel Hill are really amazingly on the ball.”
–– William Styron, writing to his daughter Susanna, March 28, 1972
Although “The Confessions of Nat Turner,” Styron’s imagined memoir of the real-life leader of a Virginia slave revolt, brought accusations of racial stereotyping, it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1968.