Sophie's Choice is a novel by American author William Styron, that was published in 1979. It concerns a young American Southerner, an aspiring writer, who befriends the Jewish Nathan Landau and his beautiful lover Sophie, a Polish survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. The plot ultimately centers around a tragic decision which Sophie was forced to make upon entering the concentration camp.
An immediate bestseller and the basis of a successful film, the novel is often considered both Styron's best work and a major novel of the twentieth century. The difficult decision that shapes the character Sophie is sometimes used as an idiom: a Sophie's Choice is the necessity to choose between two unbearable options.
Sophie's Choice won the US National Book Award for Fiction in 1980.