William Faulkner was born on September 25, 1897, in Albany, Mississippi. His family had roots in Mississippi, and Faulkner remained in the state for most of his life and became a renowned writer of Southern literature. Faulkner was not much of a student, however, and dropped out of high school. He then worked in various clerical positions and as a painter, a carpenter, and a coal shoveler. He attended the University of Mississippi for just one year, from 1919-1920, then launched into the writing career that he pursued for the rest of his life. Faulkner wrote poetry and held positions as a screenwriter for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and for Warner Bros. before becoming widely acclaimed for his novels. When Faulkner’s third novel, The Sound and the Fury, was published in 1929, it established his reputation and he enjoyed a prolific career during the 1930s and 1940s. He won numerous literary awards, including the Nobel Prize for literature in 1949, the National Book Award for Collected Stories in 1951, the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for A Fable in 1955, and the gold medal for fiction from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1962. Today Faulkner is hailed as one of the greatest novelists of the twentieth century. Volumes of literary criticism exist on his works. Much of Faulkner’s work, however, has received negative criticism, not for literary style but for appearing to promote immorality. He covers such themes as racism and incest, and his characters are often thought to condone such acts as well as to represent the thoughts and actions of Southerners in general. Faulkner died on July 6, 1962, after producing eighteen novels, many of which have been made into movies. Absalom, Absalom!, published in 1936, has been labeled one of the greatest novels ever written.