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Sample Autograph Signature: William Faulkner

Nobel Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. William Cuthbert Faulkner (born Falkner) [1897 – 1962] is considered one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers. Ironically, he lived in a small town in the poorest state in America, never graduated from high school, left the University of Mississippi after three semesters, and yet embraced the experimental tradition of European writers such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf to become an icon of American fiction. Despite the challenges of his use of literary devices such as stream of consciousness and disjointed time sequences in his narratives, his work was well-received by a broad audience. Equally unpredictable, was how he somehow managed to support his family through the Depression and struggle with alcoholism while writing such celebrated novels as The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), and The Unvanquished (1938). While his novels, mostly based in this fictitous Yoknapatawpha County, Georgia, are his most widely known work, he was a prolific writer of short stories, an acclaimed writer of mysteries, and wrote two volumes of poetry. His only published play was Requiem for a Nun. Faulkner had done screenwriting in Hollywood for several periods during the 1930s, first for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and then 20th Century-Fox. When his book sales took a dive in the early 1940s, he returned to Hollywood as a screen writer for Warner Brothers where he did the scripts for Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep and Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not. In 1957, Faulkner agreed to become Writer-in-Residence for eight to ten weeks every year at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and spent most of his last few years between his homes in Charlottesville and Oxford, Mississippi. He received a Pulitzer Prize in 1954 for his novel A Fable, as well as many lesser awards such as the Gold Medal for Fiction awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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