Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids


E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs
William Faulkner

  • About this Author
author spotlight

William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. His family was rooted in local history: his great-grandfather, a Confederate colonel and state politician, was assassinated by a former partner in 1889, and his grandfather was a wealth lawyer who owned a railroad. When Faulkner was five his parents moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where he received a desultory education in local schools, dropping out of high school in 1915. Rejected for pilot training in the U.S. Army, he passed himself off as British and joined the Canadian Royal Air Force in 1918, but the war ended before he saw any service. After the war, he took some classes at the University of Mississippi and worked for a time at the university post office. Mostly, however, he educated himself by reading promiscuously.

Faulkner had begun writing poems when he was a schoolboy, and in 1924 he published a poetry collection, The Marble Faun, at his own expense. His literary aspirations were fueled by his close friendship with Sherwood Anderson, whom he met during a stay in New Orleans. Faulkner's first novel, Soldier’s Pay, was published in 1926, followed a year later by Mosquitoes, a literary satire. His next book, Flags in the Dust, was heavily cut and rearranged at the publisher’s insistence and appeared finally as Sartoris in 1929. In the meantime he had completed The Sound and the Fury, and when it appeared at the end of 1929 he had finished Sanctuary and was ready to begin writing As I Lay Dying. That same year he married Estelle Oldham, whom he had courted a decade earlier.

Although Faulkner gained literary acclaim from these and subsequent novels—Light in August (1932), Pylon (1935), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), The Unvanquished (1938), The Wild Palms (1939), The Hamlet (1940), and Go Down, Moses (1942)—and continued to publish stories regularly in magazines, he was unable to support himself solely by writing fiction. he worked as a screenwriter for MGM, Twentieth Century-Fox, and Warner Brothers, forming a close relationship with director Howard Hawks, with whom he worked on To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, and Land of the Pharaohs, among other films. In 1944 all but one of Faulkner's novels were out of print, and his personal life was at low ebb due in part to his chronic heavy drinking. During the war he had been discovered by Sartre and Camus and others in the French literary world. In the postwar period his reputation rebounded, as Malcolm Cowley's anthology The Portable Faulkner brought him fresh attention in America, and the immense esteem in which he was held in Europe consolidated his worldwide stature.

Faulkner wrote seventeen books set in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County, home of the Compson family in The Sound and the Fury. “No land in all fiction lives more vividly in its physical presence than this county of Faulkner’s imagination,” Robert Penn Warren wrote in an essay on Cowley’s anthology. “The descendants of the old families, the descendants of bushwhackers and carpetbaggers, the swamp rats, the Negro cooks and farm hands, the bootleggers and gangsters, tenant farmers, college boys, county-seat lawyers, country storekeepers, peddlers—all are here in their fullness of life and their complicated interrelations.” In 1950, Faulkner traveled to Sweden to accept the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature. In later books—Intruder in the Dust (1948), Requiem for a Nun (1951), A Fable (1954), The Town (1957), The Mansion (1959), and The Reivers (1962)—he continued to explore what he had called “the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself,” but did so in the context of Yoknapatawpha’s increasing connection with the modern world. He died of a heart attack on July 6, 1962.

author bookshelf
Sort: Date  Format  Price  Title

Exam Copy
Absalom, Absalom!

Written by William Faulkner
Foreword by John Jeremiah Sullivan


Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: November 9, 1993
Price: $23.00

The story of Thomas Sutpen, an enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson in the early 1830s to wrest his mansion out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness. He was a man, Faulkner said, "who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him." Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Absalom, Absalom!

Written by William Faulkner


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 30, 1991
Price: $15.00

This is Faulkner's epic tale of Thomas Sutpen, an enigmatic stranger who comes to Jefferson, Mississippi in the early 1830's to wrest his mansion out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness. He was a man, Faulkner said, "who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him." Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a hardcover.

Absalom, Absalom!

Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook, 320 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 18, 2011
Price: $11.99

Read more >

Exam Copy
As I Lay Dying

Written by William Faulkner
Foreword by E.L. Doctorow


Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: November 28, 2000
Price: $22.00

One of William Faulkner's finest novels, As I Lay Dying was originally published in 1930, and remains a captivating and stylistically innovative work. The story revolves around a grim yet darkly humorous pilgrimage, as Addie Bundren's family sets out to fulfill her last wish: to be buried in her native Jefferson... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
As I Lay Dying

Written by William Faulkner


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 30, 1991
Price: $14.00

This is Faulkner’s harrowing account of the Bundren family’s odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Told in multiple first person narratives by each of the family members—including Addie herself—as well as people from the community, the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a hardcover.

As I Lay Dying

Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook, 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 18, 2011
Price: $9.99

Read more >

Exam Copy
As I Lay Dying (Movie Tie-in Edition)

Written by William Faulkner


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 10, 2013
Price: $14.00

“I set out deliberately to write a tour-de-force. Before I ever put pen to paper and set down the first word I knew what the last word would be and almost where the last period would fall.” —William Faulkner on As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying is Faulkner’s harrowing account... Read more >

Exam Copy
Big Woods

Written by William Faulkner


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: April 26, 1994
Price: $15.00

The best of Faulkner's hunting stories are woven together brilliantly in Big Woods. First published in 1955, the volume includes Faulkner's most famous story, "The Bear" (in its original version), together with "The Old People," "A Bear Hunt," and "Race at Morning." Each story is introduced by a prelude, the final... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Big Woods
The Hunting Stories
Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 18, 2011
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Collected Stories

Written by William Faulkner


Format: Trade Paperback, 912 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 31, 1995
Price: $20.00

Winner of the National Book Award

Forty-two stories make up this magisterial collection by the writer who stands at the pinnacle of modern American fiction. Compressing an epic expanse of vision into hard and wounding narratives, Faulkner's stories evoke the intimate textures of place, the deep strata of history and legend, and... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Collected Stories

Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 18, 2011
Price: $12.99

Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and a trade paperback.

Essays, Speeches & Public Letters

Written by William Faulkner
Edited by James B. Meriwether


Format: eBook
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: April 20, 2011
Price: $12.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Essays, Speeches & Public Letters

Written by William Faulkner
Edited by James B. Meriwether


Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: February 10, 2004
Price: $17.00

An essential collection of William Faulkner’s mature nonfiction work, updated, with an abundance of new material.

This unique volume includes Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, a review of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (in which he suggests that Hemingway has found God), and newly collected gems, such as the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Essential Faulkner

Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook, 204 pages
Publisher: Random House
On Sale: January 2, 2013
Price: $12.99

Read more >

Exam Copy
A Fable

Written by William Faulkner


Format: Trade Paperback, 512 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 29, 2011
Price: $16.00

This novel won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1955. An allegorical story of World War I, set in the trenches in France and dealing ostensibly with a mutiny in a French regiment, it was originally considered a sharp departure for Faulkner. Recently it has come to... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

A Fable

Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook, 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 18, 2011
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Father Abraham

Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook, 70 pages
Publisher: Random House
On Sale: November 9, 2011
Price: $7.99

Read more >

FAULKNER READER

Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook, 688 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: August 10, 2011
Price: $11.99

Read more >

Exam Copy
Flags in the Dust

Written by William Faulkner


Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 17, 2012
Price: $15.00

The complete text of Faulkner’s third novel, published for the first time in 1973, appeared with his reluctant consent in a much cut version in 1929 as Sartoris. Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Flags in the Dust
The complete text of Faulkner's third novel, which appeared in a cut version as Sartoris
Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook, 448 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 18, 2011
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Go Down, Moses

Written by William Faulkner


Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 30, 1991
Price: $15.00

Go Down, Moses is composed of seven interrelated stories, all of them set in Faulkner’s mythic Yoknapatawpha County. From a variety of perspectives, Faulkner examines the complex, changing relationships between blacks and whites, between man and nature, weaving a cohesive novel rich in implication and insight. Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Go Down, Moses

Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook, 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 18, 2011
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Hamlet

Written by William Faulkner


Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 29, 1991
Price: $15.00

The first novel of Faulkner's Snopes trilogy, The Hamlet is both an ironic take on classical tragedy and a mordant commentary on the grand pretensions of the antebellum South and the depths of its decay in the aftermath of the war and Reconstruction. It tells of the advent and the rise... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

The Hamlet

Written by William Faulkner


Format: eBook, 432 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 18, 2011
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Intruder in the Dust

Written by William Faulkner


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 29, 1991
Price: $15.00

Intruder in the Dust is at once an engrossing murder mystery and an unflinching portrait of racial injustice: it is the story of Lucas Beauchamp, a black man wrongly arrested for the murder of Vinson Gowrie, a white man. Confronted by the threat of lynching, Lucas sets out to prove his... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.
View pages: 1 | 2 | 3
Page 1 of 3