Faulkner’s Death and Posthumous Fame


Great Authors: William Faulkner

William Faulkner, revered modernist writer, historian and sociologist, is known for capturing the raw beauty of the rural South in all its dark complexity. While his sprawling verse and habit of knotting together past, present and future has overwhelmed some critics, others have responded to the demands of his writing.

Faulkner’s Early Life

William Cuthbert Falkner (he later added the “u”) was the oldest of four boys born in ... read more »

Faulkner’s Writing and His Impact

In New Orleans, Faulkner met Sherwood Anderson, a writer who would become his friend and mentor. He ... read more »

Faulkner’s Inspiration

In “Go Down, Moses,” published in 1942, Faulkner isolated the precise moment when a ... read more »

Faulkner’s Family and Friends

Estelle Oldham divorced her first husband and married Faulkner only months later in 1929. But their ... read more »

Faulkner’s Death and Posthumous Fame

Faulkner died on July 6, 1962, of a heart attack at Wright’s Sanitarium in Byhalia, Miss. The proud but private recluse, despised for a time by his neighbors, neglected by the general public for most of his life, was at his death “widely considered the most important American novelist of his generation and arguably of the entire 20th century,” according to Jay Watson in Mississippi History Now.

The funeral procession was likened to a scene from one of Faulkner’s novels, “Go Down, Moses.” William Styron, a novelist and disciple of Faulkner who covered Faulkner’s funeral for Life magazine, wrote that in the “monumental heat,” Faulkner would be buried “on a gentle slope, between two oak trees.”

Watson writes that according to the Modern Language Association, since Faulkner’s death, more books and essays have been written about him than any other American writer.
Back to Top

Understanding Faulkner’s Work

Readers of Faulkner rely on emotional instincts to embrace and unravel the ambiguities woven into ... read more »

Fans of Faulkner

The William Faulkner Society presents information on conferences, panel discussions and proposal ... read more »

Most Recent Guides