William Faulkner (1897-1962) remains the pre- eminent literary chronicler of the American South and a giant of American arts and letters. Creatively obsessed with problems of race, identity, power, politics, and family dynamics, he wrote novels, stories, and lectures that continue to shape our understanding of the region's promises and problems. His experiments and inventions in form and style have influenced generations of writers.
Originally published in 1974 as a two-volume edition and extensively updated and condensed in a 1991 reissue, Joseph Blotner's Faulkner: A Biography remains the quintessential resource on the Nobel laureate's life and work. The Chicago Tribune said, "This is an overwhelming book, indispensable for anyone interested in the life and works of our greatest contemporary novelist." That invaluable 1991 edition is now back in print.
Blotner, a friend and one-time colleague of Faulkner's, brings a vivid, personalized tone to the biography, as well as a sense of masterful, comprehensive scholarship. Using letters, inter-views, reminiscences, critical work, and other primary sources, Blotner creates a detailed and nuanced portrait of Faulkner from his birth to his death. The revision of the original 1974 biogra-phy incorporates commentary on the plethora of Faulkner criticism, family memoirs, and post-humously published works that appeared in the wake of the first version. It also examines collections of letters and other materials that only came to light after the original publication.
Featuring a detailed chronology of Faulkner's life and a genealogical chart of his family, Faulkner is authoritative and essential both for literary scholars and for anyone wanting to know about the life of one of the nation's foremost authors. Blotner's masterpiece is the template for all biographical work on the acclaimed writer.
Joseph Blotner, Charlottesville, Virginia, is professor emeritus of English at University of Michigan and the author of several books, including Robert Penn Warren: A Biography, The Modern American Political Novel, and The Fiction of J. D. Salinger. His work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Yale Review, American Literature, and else-where.