William Faulkner and Joan Williams

The Romance of Two Writers

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About the Book

This work looks closely at the relationship between William Faulkner and Memphis novelist Joan Williams. Their story is significant not only in its depth but also in the years of their primary involvement, 1949–1953—a period over which Faulkner won both the Nobel Prize and a National Book Award. This is the first book-length study of the Faulkner-Williams relationship, and the first truly attentive consideration of Joan Williams, her impressions of Faulkner, and her commitment to writing. Until now, Williams, an acclaimed novelist, was an “outside” woman in Faulkner’s life. Their affair and friendship is worthy of its own story.
Included here are extensive interviews with Williams conducted over several years about her relationship with Faulkner, their correspondence, and discussions of both his work and her own. It includes all of Williams’s letters to Faulkner and his letters, either directly reproduced or paraphrased.

About the Author(s)

Lisa C. Hickman is a Memphis writer and independent scholar who has published extensively on the life and work of Joan Williams and William Faulkner. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bibliographic Details

Lisa C. Hickman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: 6 photos, appendix, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2599-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0485-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Richard Bausch      1
Preface      5
Introduction: Middle Years      9

1. 1949—An Afternoon Recalled      15
2. 1950—A Courtship of Letters      28
3. 1951—Other Loves      87
4. 1952—Jacob Labored Seven Years for Rachel      108
5. 1953—One Fifth Avenue      149
6. 1954–1962—Blue Mississippi Hills      183

Appendix: Joan Williams’ Critique of Faulkner’s First Draft of Requiem for a Nun      195
Notes      199
Joan Williams Selected Bibliography      211
Bibliography      213
Index      215

Book Reviews & Awards

“a fascinating book…recommended for both public and academic libraries…of special interest to those with a Southern literature collection”—Library Journal; “brilliant…insightful…detailed information about the facts…is so artfully accomplished…informative…compelling…a riveting account…provides extensive insights”—Arkansas Review; “provides the fullest available account…compassionate”—The Southern Register; “a ground-breaker”—The Memphis Flyer; “remarkable…thoroughly researched…well written…essential…invaluable”—The Key Reporter.