William Faulkner, the Man and the Artist: A Biography

Stephen B. Oates, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22.5 (363p) ISBN 978-0-06-015771-5
Scholarly biographies of Faulkner there have been and analytical studies aplenty, but here for the first time Oates, author of prize-winning biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, uses novelistic techniques to reenact the flesh-and-blood story of the life. It is a tale as turbulent and engrossing as any of the novels and stories in his monumental Yoknapatawpha saga. As though through Faulkner's own eyes, we see his development from youthful poet to Nobel Prizewinning novelist ""with a taste for the macabre and a tragic sense of history''; his troubled marriage and prolonged affairs with younger women; his grueling stints as a Hollywood screenwriter; his courageous early espousal of black rights; his near-disastrous drinking bouts. From it all emerges a compelling portrait of the man: chivalrous and compassionate, yet ``difficult'' and essentially lonely. This is narrative biography at its best. Photos. 25,000 first printing; $30,000 ad/promo; author tour. (August 12)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
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