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William Faulkner

Awards: Nobel Prize in Literature-1949 , Pulitzer Prize for Fiction-1955, 1963. The 1963 Pulitzer Prize was awarded posthumously for his novel The Reivers(1962) and 1955 Prize was for his novel, A Fable(1954).

Born: 25/09/1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, USA

Died: 06/07/1962 in Byhalia, Mississippi, USA of heart attack.

Citizen: American

Language: English

Influence: James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, Gustave Flaubert

      William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in a relatively prosperous family and his father was a senator and a grain merchant. When William was barely five, the family moved to Oxford and Faulkner lived there the rest of his life. However, his works were heavily influenced by the surroundings and culture of Mississippi.

   Faulkner's mother and grand mother were great readers and as a boy, Faulkner spent much time listening to stories and story telling was a great pastime in the house hold. This fired the young man's imagination. As a student, Faulkner was bright but shy and with drawn. As teenager, he started writing poems and was good at it. Novel writing came much later, at an age of 28.

  During college days, Faulkner was heavily influenced by Philip Stone who almost acted as his mentor. Philip introduced Faulkner to James Joyce, the celebrated writer. His first novel Flags in the Dust had a lukewarm response from the publishers and this made Faulkner indifferent to publishers. Faulkner was a private person, almost a recluse and had a lifelong drinking problem though he never drank while writing.

    Landmarks: Most of Faulkner's works were published in 1920s and 1930s but he was not very much known until he got the Nobel.

Faulkner is known to have had several extramarital affairs. One was with Howard Hawks's secretary and script girl, Meta Carpenter. Another, from 194953, was with a young writer, Joan Williams, who made her relationship with Faulkner the subject of her 1971 novel, The Wintering.
When Faulkner visited Stockholm in December 1950 to receive the Nobel Prize, he met Else Jonsson (19121996) and they had an affair that lasted until the end of 1953. Else was the widow of journalist Thorsten Jonsson (19101950), reporter for Dagens Nyheter in New York 19431946, who had interviewed Faulkner in 1946 and introduced his works to Swedish readers. At the banquet in 1950 where they met, publisher Tor Bonnier referred to Else as widow of the man responsible for Faulkner being awarded the prize.

Notable Works:The Sound and the Fury(1929), As I Lay dying(1930), These 13 (1931) , Light in August(1932),Absalom,Absalom!(1936), Snopes Trilogy-- The Hamlet(), The Town(),The Mansion(); The Marble Faun(1924), A Green Bough(1933), Knight's Gambit(1949)

William Faulkner

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