William Faulkner Biography

William Faulkner (Full name: William Cuthbert Faulkner) was an American writer known for novels and short stories.

He wrote 19 novels, 125 short stories, 20 screenplays, one play and six collections of poetry. He is, however, most famous for his 1929 book, The Sound and the Fury.

William Faulkner was born on 25th September, 1897 in in New Albany, Mississippi, US but grew up in Oxford, Mississippi. By the time he died on 6 July, 1962 at the age of 64, he was considered one of the greatest American writers.

Faulkner joined the Canadian Royal Air Force in at the outbreak of World War 1 but did not see combat. According to some sources, he told many stories about his time in the air force, most of which were untrue or exaggerated. However, his time in the air force helped him in his fiction writing especially his first novel Soldiers Pay (1926).

In 1928, just after he turned 31, Faulkner started work on The Sound and the Fury which was published in 1929. Although it was not immediately successful, the book began to receive attention after the publication of his fifth book Sanctuary.

The Sound and the Fury, like many of his books, explores the psychological motivations of the human mind. It was essential in development of the “stream of consciousness” narrative style. This method of narration attempts to convey the character’s thought processes, allowing readers to “listen in” on a character’s thoughts.

In his earlier works, Faulkner viewed man as a weak and incapable of rising above his selfish needs. In his later works, he was more hopeful about man’s ability to endure and prevail.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949. Two of his books A Fable (1954) and The Reivers (1962), won the Pulitzer Prizes for fiction, making him one of one of the few fiction authors to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize more than once.

Further Reading

Check out the articles below for quotes by William Faulkner and other accomplished writers.

You may also enjoy biographies about Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Annie Dillard, and R.L Stine among many more. See more interesting biographies here.

  • Sources Cited for William Faulkner’s biography

Cliff Notes  William Faulkner Biography

Wikipedia William Faulkner Biography

Wikipedia William Faulkner Bibliography

The Mississippi Writers Page William Faulkner