William Cuthbert Faulkner

William Cuthbert Faulkner

William Cuthbert Faulkner

born September 25, 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, departing this life on July 6, 1962, is still considered one of the world’s most highly acclaimed authors of all time. In 1946, the first Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Award selected three finalists. Manly Wade Wellman won 1st place. William Faulkner won 2nd. Nevertheless, coming in 2nd would be the exception rather than the rule for William Faulkner, the only Mississippi writer to ever receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1949, when presenting the Nobel Prize, Swedish Academy Member Gustaf Hellström had this to say about William Faulkner: “With almost every new work Faulkner penetrates deeper into the human psyche, into man’s greatness and powers of self-sacrifice, lust for power, cupidity, spiritual poverty, narrow-mindedness, burlesque obstinacy, anguish, terror, and degenerate aberrations. As a probing psychologist he is the unrivaled master among all living British and American novelists.” Faulkner donated a portion of his Nobel winnings to establish a fund to support and encourage new fiction writers. This noble gesture became the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Another portion established a scholarship fund to assist African-American education majors at Rust College in Holly Springs. Among his vast literary awards were 2 Pulitzers and 2 National Book Awards. In 1987, The U. S. Postal Service issued a postage stamp in his honor. In his Nobel Prize speech, Faulkner said: I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.