William Faulkner, Influential Mississippi Writer
William Faulkner (1897-1962) is a prime example of an author who mastered writing techniques so well that he could break the rules in ways that worked and that maintain a life-lasting effect on the reader.
Born into a family that lost its wealth after the Civil War, Faulkner never finished high school but, nevertheless, became one of the most celebrated writers of his time and ever-after. Read more about him here: http://www.notablebiographies.com/Du-Fi/Faulkner-William.html. You can listen to his acceptance speech of the 1949 Nobel Prize, delivered in his gentle Southern dialect, at the “Banquet Speech” page of the nobelprize.org website.
He also won two Pulitzer Prizes and a National Book Award (1951). His stories, heavy and dark, focus on race relations, morality, and culture in the South, and several also became major feature films. Faulkner was courted to be a screenwriter for MGM for a while, but is better known as a novelist.
William Faulkner Home
The William Faulkner Home, known as Rowan Oak, is in Oxford at 916 Old Taylor Road.
Oxford is named after the British city. It became a college town with a population of approximately 25,000, as compared with around 1,800 when William Faulkner was born.
Beginning in the mid-20th century, most every young adult in the US read at least one book by William Faulkner by high school or college graduation. Sentences like “my mother is a fish” generated innumerable discussions in English literature courses in the US and beyond, decade after decade.
For the Future
Scholars gather each July in Oxford to discuss his works at the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference. such as The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying.
Read a little more about William Faulkner through our Louisiana page.
The William Faulkner House in Oxford is the second-to-last stop on our Mississippi Author Adventures Trail.