(1897 - 1962)
"If a story is in you, it has to come out."

William Faulkner certainly had many stories to tell. Brought up in Oxford, Mississippi, he was well placed to write with conviction about America’s Deep South. Several members of his family and a black nanny provided inspiration for the themes and colourful characters that would feature in his later novels: his great-grandfather, William Clark Falkner, lived a life so eventful – as a businessman, writer, Civil War hero and (ultimately) murder victim - it could have filled a dozen novels.

Bright, but not academically inclined, Faulkner dropped out both of school and university. Encouraged by family and friends initially he wrote poetry, although he had nothing published until The Marble Faun in 1924. He went on to write hundreds of short stories, poems and screenplays, but is best remembered for his novels, especially those set in the fictional Yoknapatwpha County, which bore more than a passing resemblance to Lafayette County, where he lived most of his life. Thanks to his upbringing, Faulkner was deeply conscious of the racial and other social problems in America’s Deep South and, unlike many other writers of the day, he didn’t sidestep them in his novels. For the most part this won him praise rather than condemnation.

Although novels such as As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary and Absalom, Abasalom! achieved a degree of success, true international recognition didn’t come until much later. In 1949, Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature  "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel". Two National Book Awards followed, as did two Pulitzer Prizes, the second awarded posthumously, in 1963, after Faulkner had died of a heart attack in 1962.

Please scroll down to see our current stock of Faulkner's works, including rare first editions.

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Books by this author

The Marble Faun