William Faulkner was born on this day in 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, but was mainly raised in nearby Oxford. From Writer’s Almanac:
Besides being annoyed at him when they thought he mocked their town, the residents of Oxford didn’t pay much attention to Faulkner. They called him “The Count” because they thought he acted too high and mighty, and later they called him “Count No-Count” when they thought he was acting poorly (in other words, drinking too much). He said: “Some folks wouldn’t even speak when they passed me on the street. Then MGM came to town to film Intruder in the Dust, and that made some difference because it meant I’d brought money into Oxford. But it wasn’t until the Nobel Prize that they really thawed out. They couldn’t understand my books, but they could understand thirty thousand dollars.” They began to refer to him affectionately as “that writin’ man of Oxford.” But Faulkner said that he only had four local fans who actually read his books: one professor, one lawyer, one doctor, and his mother.
Among Faulkner’s many books are The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), and Go Down, Moses (1942).
Faulkner died on July 6, 1962.