An essential collection of William Faulkner’s mature nonfiction work, updated, with an abundance of new material.

This unique volume includes Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, a review of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (in which he suggests that Hemingway has found God), and newly collected gems, such as the acerbic essay “On Criticism” and the beguiling “Note on A Fable.” It also contains eloquently opinionated public letters on...
See more details below
Essays, Speeches and Public Letters

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


An essential collection of William Faulkner’s mature nonfiction work, updated, with an abundance of new material.

This unique volume includes Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, a review of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (in which he suggests that Hemingway has found God), and newly collected gems, such as the acerbic essay “On Criticism” and the beguiling “Note on A Fable.” It also contains eloquently opinionated public letters on everything from race relations and the nature of fiction to wild-squirrel hunting on his property. This is the most comprehensive collection of Faulkner’s brilliant non-fiction work, and a rare look into the life of an American master.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Those who care about the work of William Faulkner will be deeply grateful to Meriwether for putting Essays, Speeches & Public Letters together. . . . It will correct many errors [and] increase appreciation and understanding of [Faulkner’s] work.”
—George Garrett
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588363510
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/20/2011
  • Series: Modern Library Classics
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,166,372
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

William Faulkner
William Faulkner was born in Mississippi in 1897. A legend of American letters, he is the author of The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!, As I Lay Dying, and many other works. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950, and died in 1962.

James B. Meriwether is an expert on Faulkner who has been editing Faulkner’s fiction and nonfiction work since the late 1950s. He lives with his wife, Anne, in South Carolina.


William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. His family was rooted in local history: his great-grandfather, a Confederate colonel and state politician, was assassinated by a former partner in 1889, and his grandfather was a wealth lawyer who owned a railroad. When Faulkner was five his parents moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where he received a desultory education in local schools, dropping out of high school in 1915. Rejected for pilot training in the U.S. Army, he passed himself off as British and joined the Canadian Royal Air Force in 1918, but the war ended before he saw any service. After the war, he took some classes at the University of Mississippi and worked for a time at the university post office. Mostly, however, he educated himself by reading promiscuously.

Faulkner had begun writing poems when he was a schoolboy, and in 1924 he published a poetry collection, The Marble Faun, at his own expense. His literary aspirations were fueled by his close friendship with Sherwood Anderson, whom he met during a stay in New Orleans. Faulkner's first novel, Soldier's Pay, was published in 1926, followed a year later by Mosquitoes, a literary satire. His next book, Flags in the Dust, was heavily cut and rearranged at the publisher's insistence and appeared finally as Sartoris in 1929. In the meantime he had completed The Sound and the Fury, and when it appeared at the end of 1929 he had finished Sanctuary and was ready to begin writing As I Lay Dying. That same year he married Estelle Oldham, whom he had courted a decade earlier.

Although Faulkner gained literary acclaim from these and subsequent novels -- Light in August (1932), Pylon (1935), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), The Unvanquished (1938), The Wild Palms (1939), The Hamlet (1940), and Go Down, Moses (1942) -- and continued to publish stories regularly in magazines, he was unable to support himself solely by writing fiction. he worked as a screenwriter for MGM, Twentieth Century-Fox, and Warner Brothers, forming a close relationship with director Howard Hawks, with whom he worked on To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, and Land of the Pharaohs, among other films. In 1944 all but one of Faulkner's novels were out of print, and his personal life was at low ebb due in part to his chronic heavy drinking. During the war he had been discovered by Sartre and Camus and others in the French literary world. In the postwar period his reputation rebounded, as Malcolm Cowley's anthology The Portable Faulkner brought him fresh attention in America, and the immense esteem in which he was held in Europe consolidated his worldwide stature.

Faulkner wrote seventeen books set in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County, home of the Compson family in The Sound and the Fury. "No land in all fiction lives more vividly in its physical presence than this county of Faulkner's imagination," Robert Penn Warren wrote in an essay on Cowley's anthology. "The descendants of the old families, the descendants of bushwhackers and carpetbaggers, the swamp rats, the Negro cooks and farm hands, the bootleggers and gangsters, tenant farmers, college boys, county-seat lawyers, country storekeepers, peddlers--all are here in their fullness of life and their complicated interrelations." In 1950, Faulkner traveled to Sweden to accept the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature. In later books--Intruder in the Dust (1948), Requiem for a Nun (1951), A Fable (1954), The Town (1957), The Mansion (1959), and The Reivers (1962) -- he continued to explore what he had called "the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself," but did so in the context of Yoknapatawpha's increasing connection with the modern world. He died of a heart attack on July 6, 1962.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Good To Know

William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text

The publisher, Harrison Smith, received Faulkner's typescript for As I Lay Dying in January 1930 and published it with very few editorial changes on October 6, 1930. That text remained the same through various reprints until 1964 when Random House brought out a new edition that was corrected in accordance with the original manuscript and typescript. For the "corrected text" shown here, scholar Noel Polk used Faulkner's own ribbon typescript setting copy, corrected to account for his revisions in proof, his typing errors, and other clear inconsistencies and mistakes.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      William Cuthbert Falkner (real name)
      William Faulkner
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 25, 1897
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Albany, Mississippi
    1. Date of Death:
      July 6, 1962
    2. Place of Death:
      Byhalia, Mississippi

Table of Contents

Biographical Note
Editor's Preface to the First Edition
I Essays
A Note on Sherwood Anderson, 1953 3
Mississippi, 1954 11
A Guest's Impression of New England, 1954 44
An Innocent at Rinkside, 1955 48
Kentucky: May: Saturday, 1955 52
On Privacy, 1955 62
Impressions of Japan, 1955 76
To the Youth of Japan, 1955 82
Letter to a Northern Editor, 1956 86
On Fear: Deep South in Labor: Mississippi, 1956 92
A Letter to the Leaders in the Negro Race, 1956 107
Albert Camus, 1961 113
II Speeches
Funeral Sermon for Mammy Caroline Barr, February 4, 1940 117
Upon Receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1950 119
To the Graduating Class, University High School, 1951 122
Upon Being Made on Officer of the Legion of Honor, 1951 125
To the Delta Council, 1952 126
To the Graduating Class, Pine Manor Junior College, 1953 135
Upon Receiving the National Book Award for Fiction, 1955 143
To the Southern Historical Association, 1955 146
Upon Receiving the Silver Medal of the Athens Academy, 1957 152
To the American Academy of Arts and Letters in Presenting the Gold Medal for Fiction to John Dos Passos, 1957 153
To the Raven, Jefferson, and ODK Societies of the University of Virginia, 1958 155
To the English Club of the University of Virginia, 1958 160
To the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, 1959 166
To the American Academy of Arts and Letters upon Acceptance of the Gold Medal for Fiction, 1962 168
III Introductions
Foreword to Sherwood Anderson & Other Famous Creoles, 1926 173
Introduction to the Modern Library Edition of Sanctuary, 1932 176
Foreword to The Faulkner Reader, 1954 179
IV Book Review
The Road Back, by Erich Maria Remarque, 1931 185
Test Pilot, by Jimmy Collins, 1935 188
The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, 1952 193
V Public Letters
To the Book Editor of the Chicago Tribune, July 16, 1927 197
To the President of the League of American Writers, 1938 198
To the Editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, July, 12, 1941 199
"His Name was Pete," Oxford Eagle, August 15, 1946 200
To the Editor of the Oxford Eagle, March 13, 1947 202
To the Editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 26, 1950 203
To the Editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, April, 9, 1950 205
To the Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, June 12, 1950 206
"To the Voters of Oxford," September 1950 207
To the Editor of the Oxford Eagle, September 14, 1950 208
To the Editor of Time November 13, 1950 210
Statement to the Press on the Willie McGee Case, Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 27, 1951 211
To the Editor of the New York Times, December 26, 1954 212
To the Editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, February 20, 1955 214
To the Editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 20, 1955 215
To the Editor of the New York Times, March, 25, 1955 217
To the Editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, April 3, 1955 218
To the Editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, April 10, 1955 220
To the Editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, April, 17, 1955 221
Press Dispatch on the Emmett Till Case, September 9, 1955 222
To the Editor of Life, March 26, 1956 224
To the Editor of the Reporter, April 19, 1956 225
To the Editor of Time, April 23, 1956 226
To the Editor of Time December 10, 1956 227
To the Editor of the New York Times, December 16, 1956 227
To the Editor of Time, February 11, 1957 228
To the Editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, September 15, 1957 229
To the Editor of the New York Times, October 13, 1957 230
Notice, Oxford Eagle, September 24, 1959 231
"Notice," Oxford Eagle, October 15, 1959 232
To the Editor of the New York Times, August 28, 1960 232
VI Essays
Verse, Old and Nascent: A Pilgrimage, 1924 237
On Criticism, 1925 242
Sherwood Anderson, 1925 246
Literature and War, 1925 254
And Now What's To Do, 1925 256
The Composition, Editing, and Cutting of Flags in the Dust, c. 1928 260
Mac Grider' Son, 1934 264
Note on A Fable, c. 1953 270
VII Speeches
Funeral Sermon for Mammy Caroline Barr February 5, 1940 275
Address to the Congres pour la Liberte de la Culture, 1952 277
Address at the American Literature Seminar, Nagano, 1955 279
Address upon Receiving the Andres Bello Award, Caracas, 1961 283
Address at the Teatro Municipal, Caracas, 1961 285
VIII Introductions
Two Introductions to The Sound and the Fury 289
Oxford, Mississippi, August 19, 1933 289
Oxford, Mississippi, 1946 296
Prefatory Note to "Appendix: Compson, 1699-1945," 1946 301
IX Book and Drama Reviews
In April Once, by W. A. Percy, 1920 307
Turns and Movies, by Conrad Aiken, 1921 309
Aria da Capo: A Play in One Act, by Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1922 312
American Drama: Eugene O'Neill, 1922 314
American Drama: Inhibitions, 1922 317
Linda Condon - Cytherea - The Bright Shawl, by Joseph Hergesheimer, 1922 321
Ducdame, by John Cowper Powys, 1925 323
Test Pilot, by Jimmy Collins (The uncut text), 1935 328
X Public Letters
To the New Orleans Times-Item, April 4, 1925 337
To the Editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, February 15, 1931 338
Blurb for Men in Darkness, by James Hanley, 1932 344
Blurb and Promotional Use of Letter to Clifton Cuthbert, 1933 344
Classified AD in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, January 22, 1936 345
Inscription on the Monument to Lafayette Country's World War II Dead, 1947 346
To the Memphis Commercial Appeal, April 30, 1950 347
Blurb for The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene, 1955 349
Draft of September 15, 1957, Letter to the Memphis Commercial Appeal 350
Estate Administrator's Notice in the Oxford Eagle, 1960 352
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)