As I Lay Dying was originally published in 1930, and remains a captivating and stylistically innovative work. The story revolves around a grim yet darkly humorous pilgrimage, as Addie Bundren's family sets out to fulfill her last wish: to be buried in her native Jefferson, Mississippi, far from the miserable backwater surroundings of her married life. Told through multiple voices, it vividly brings to life Faulkner's imaginary South, one of the great invented landscapes in all of literature, and is replete with the poignant, impoverished, violent and hypnotically fascinating characters that were his trademark.
William Faulkner's AS I LAY DYING was published in 1930, exactly a year after THE SOUND AND THE FURY. A stream-of-consciousness novel narrated from 15 different points of view, AS I LAY DYING opens as the Bundren matriarch, Addie, is dying at the family home in Faulkner's fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. (His later novel ABSALOM, ABSALOM includes a map of the place.) The novel chronicles the struggle of this clan of poor whites--Addie's husband, Anse, and their extended family--to travel to Jefferson, the county seat, to bury Addie, at her request, in the town she came from. Their hapless nine-day journey includes a flooded river, drowned mules, a broken leg, impatient buzzards circling the body, and a fire in a barn where they take refuge. Faulkner's bleakly comic novel, which explores the nature of grief, community, and family, is considered one of his masterpieces.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres, Juvenile Fiction
- Psychology, Classics, General, Conflicts + Dualities, Stages of Life, Social Issues / Death + Dying, Family + Friendship, Human Qualities + Behavior, Settings, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Society + Social Issues, Peoples + Cultures
- November 1, 2000
- November 1, 2000
- William Faulkner