Light in August

Light in August by William Faulkner is my favorite Faulkner novel of the 3 that I own. It’s a much easier read and the characters were somewhat less frustrating for me to understand than As I Lay Dying, yet it’s no less tragic in its realistic depiction of white racism in the south.

Faulkner uses harsh, offensive language to reveal the real-life culture of the south. Much like As I Lay Dying, every main character is an outsider and a victim of something or someone at some point in the book. The perseverance of these characters makes it inspirational. Faulkner, similar to Steinbeck, wrote often and deeply from the sense of the place he came from (Faulkner from Mississippi and Steinbeck from California), so that the setting is practically its own character. As with his other books, Faulkner takes liberties with his writing that I applaud. His paragraphs can go on for pages and he does what he pleases to get his point across, and that he does.

I’m not going to say much more, except that his contribution of this American novel is a good example of why Faulkner won the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature. If you are going to read Faulkner, then I recommend this book as the place to start. So, go to your quiet place and start reading or listening.

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