William Faulkner

American writer

American novelist and short-story writer William Cuthbert Faulkner, also known by his last name Falkner, was born on September 25, 1897, in New Albany, Mississippi, and passed away on July 6, 1962, in Byhalia, Mississippi. He won the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Life Facts

  • He was born on September 25, 1897, in Mississippi.
  • He died on July 6, 1962 (aged 64), in Mississippi.
  • He was awarded the National Book Award Pulitzer Prize (1963), Pulitzer Prize (1955), and the Nobel Prize (1949).
  • His writing style was modernism and Southern Gothic.

Interesting Facts

  • Camus was friends with Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • He was the second-youngest winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • Camus was part of the French residence during WWII.
  • He died in a tragic car crash.
  • Due to a lack of paper, The Stranger was almost not published.

Famous Books by William Faulkner

Most of William Faulkner’s books centered around his Mississippian upbringing. He had recurring characters in his bibliography and frequently set his novels in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. Here are some notable books of his.

In this style of his, he fashioned other masterpieces such as ‘As I Lay Dying’ (1930), ‘Light in August‘ (1932), ‘Absalom, Absalom!‘ (1936), ‘The Hamlet’ (1940), and ‘Go Down, Moses’ (1942).

Literature by William Faulkner

Explore literature by William Faulkner below, created by the team at Book Analysis.

  • ‘The Sound and the Fury’ has some of the most unforgettable literary figures, who can be found in the tragedy of the Compson family: the beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; the haunted, neurotic Quentin; the ruthless cynic Jason; and their black servant Dilsey. One of the finest novels of the 20th century and probably Faulkner’s masterpiece is created by the voices and actions of the characters, whose lives have been torn apart and burdened by history and legacy.
  • As I Lay Dyingtells the terrible tale of the Bundren family’s journey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife, and mother. The novel’s various voices—including Addie herself—take turns narrating it. Its moods range from dark comedy to the most profound pathos. It is regarded as one of the most structurally, stylistically, and dramatically impactful books in American literature.
  • ‘Absalom, Absalom!’ (1936) is widely regarded as his best work. The book’s convoluted and disjointed structure can be quite challenging for readers, yet despite this, it has literary merits that place it among the best books in America. Thomas Sutpen, a poor guy who discovers fortune and later weds into a respected family, is the subject of the tale. His strong need for control as well as his ambition lead to his and his family’s demise. The fact that Sutpen’s story is narrated by multiple narrators allows the reader to see how the saga changes as it is told by various voices.

Early Life

A middle-class family with four children, William Cuthbert Falkner was born on September 25, 1897, in New Albany, Mississippi. Oxford, Mississippi, where Falkner was raised, has remained essential to his life and career. In the American Civil War, Falkner’s great-grandfather served as a Confederate colonel before going on to become a successful novelist. In Oxford, Falkner’s grandfather had established a bank. His father held several occupations before rising to the position of business management at the nearby university.

When Falkner changed his last name from Falkner to Faulkner is unclear. A 1918 employer made a paperwork blunder that led to the alteration. Falkner changed his name to Faulkner when he applied to join the British Royal Air Force because he believed the new spelling made the name sound more British after being turned down by the U.S. Air Force for being too short. Despite never serving in the military, he got admitted.

Literary Career

Throughout the 1920s, Faulkner pursued writing while working odd jobs, participating in American literary circles, and even briefly residing in Paris, France. By the time Faulkner became fixated on creating what would become ‘The Sound and the Fury,’ he already had a volume of poems and two novels and was shopping around a third.

When ‘The Sound and the Fury’ was initially published in 1929, neither critics nor readers were impressed, probably as a result of how challenging the stream-of-consciousness style was. ‘The Sound and the Fury,’ which many now regard to be Faulkner’s greatest work, gained popularity as Faulkner’s fame did, though.

The main reason Faulkner is regarded as one of the finest authors of the 20th century is because of his extremely experimental writing style. By significantly departing from the forms and structures that had been used in novels up until his time, Faulkner was a literary modernism pioneer. Faulkner frequently writes in the present tense while switching to the past tense, frequently uses multiple narrators, and frequently employs a stream-of-consciousness narrative. He also has a penchant for sentences that are absurdly long and complex.

In this style of his, he fashioned other masterpieces such as ‘As I Lay Dying’ (1930), ‘Light in August‘ (1932), ‘Absalom, Absalom!‘ (1936), ‘The Hamlet’ (1940), and ‘Go Down, Moses’ (1942).

Literature by William Faulkner

Explore literature by William Faulkner below, created by the team at Book Analysis.