William Faulkner

William Faulkner

New Albany, Union County, Mississippi, USA
Death 6 Jul 1962 (aged 64)
Byhalia, Marshall County, Mississippi, USA
Burial Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi, USA
Memorial ID 328 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Nobel Prize Laureate Author. His father held different jobs until he was ultimately offered an administrative position at the University of Mississippi which he held for most of his working life. Faulkner came from a family of some repute in Mississippi. His great grandfather was Confederate Civil War Colonel William Clark Falkner who was a well known figure in the state and for whom the town of Falkner was named. Col. Falkner's biggest influence over his descendant, however, was the novels he wrote. Faulkner developed a great understanding of Southern culture which was reflected in his works. The Colonel was also the model for Faulkner's well-known character, Colonel John Sartoris. Many of Faulkner's works focused around the mythical Yoknapatawpha County in Mississippi which was very like LaFayette County where he grew up. He so loved the place that he maintained a home there, Rowan Oak, during his life time and returned there often. During World War I, Faulkner was snubbed by the American Army because of his height and joined the Canadian Army instead. He ended up in the Royal Air Force. After the War, he returned to the US and eventually went to New Orleans where he wrote his first novel "Soldier's Pay" published in 1926. The home that he lived at there has now become something of a shrine to his literary legacy. Faulkner in his career ultimately produced more than a dozen novels including "The Sound and the Fury" (1929), "As I Lay Dying" (1930), "Light in August" (1932), "Absalom, Absalom!" (1936), "Go Down, Moses" (1942), "Intruder in the Dust" (1948), and "Flags in the Dust" (1973) which was the original version of an earlier novel. He also penned many short stories and poems. In the 1930's, he went to Hollywood where he wrote or had a hand in several screenplays. Many of his other writings were eventually made into films. His style gained him critical acclaim, and he went on to become one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. In 1949, he received the Nobel Prize, and in 1954 and 1963 he was honored with the Pulitzer. In the years before his death, he was the Writer in Residence at the University of Virginia. Faulkner married Estelle Oldham in 1929. The marriage was perhaps not so successful as he carried on affairs including a 13 year one with a young writer, Joan Williams, who was something of a student of his. Another paramour was Meta Carpenter, assistant to film producer Howard Hawks with whom he worked. There are two different stories circulating as to why he changed the spelling of his last name. One has to do with wanting to appear more aristocratic when he joined the RAF. The other had to do with not correcting an editor's mistake. The real reason remains unknown.

Bio by: Catharine

Family Members




How famous was William Faulkner?

Current rating:

205 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 328
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Faulkner (25 Sep 1897–6 Jul 1962), Find a Grave Memorial no. 328, citing Oxford Memorial Cemetery, Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .