Nobel Laureate and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner William Faulkner (1897-1962) was one of America’s greatest and most celebrated writers, whose work reflects and at the same time questions the South's most deeply held values. His novel The Sound and the Fury is frequently cited as one of the best books of all time, and all of his works powerfully explore complex societal and family issues that continue to be relevant in our own day. Yet, because of his decidedly difficult, stream-of-consciousness style, Faulkner’s books remain sadly unknown to many readers.
In Simply Faulkner, author Philip Weinstein not only helps us understand these challenging works, but also explains why Faulkner had to write them as he did, in an effort to capture the sheer abundance and unruliness of life. Further, in his exploration of the author’s own colorful life - including decades of working for a film industry he despised - Weinstein reveals a fascinating connection between Faulkner’s troubled personal biography and his ground-breaking fiction.
The goal of Simply Faulkner is not to simplify the author, but rather to create a framework that allows us to comprehend him in his own idiosyncratic way. It strives to show us the real Faulkner - warts and complications and all - and to demonstrate why his brilliant masterpieces still speak to us in a deeply meaningful way.
“As Philip Weinstein suggests, there is no better way to begin than by plunging into the work of William Faulkner. But it’s immensely useful to have at one’s elbow a knowledgeable guide, and there is none better than Weinstein. He himself is a brilliant writer - clear, concrete, smart, suggestive - and this short book represents an ideal introduction to the major work of America’s most important modern author. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in Faulkner.” (Jay Parini, author of One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner and Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal)