William Faulker’s Film of Redemption: The Left Hand of God

Redime me et miserere mei

Carl Rollyson


William Faulkner’s 1951 adaptation of William Barrett’s inspirational novel, The Left Hand of God (1950), never made it to production, but it is superior to the 1955 film. Faulkner’s screenplay reflects a spiritual journey that he explored in Requiem for a Nun (1951) and A Fable (1954), works revealing a hierological intensity that is absent from his earlier fiction. In the process of adapting the novel’s themes and characters, he articulated his own suffering and search for salvation.

Keywords: William Barrett, William Faulkner, Humphrey Bogart, Hollywood, Howard Hawks, Nobel Prize, Catholic Church

William Faulkner’s 1951 adaptation of William Barrett’s inspirational novel, The Left Hand of God (1950), now available in a collection of his Twentieth Century-Fox screenplays (Gleeson-White), never made it to production, but it is superior to the film starring Humphrey Bogart and Gene Tierney, released in 1955.[1] Faulkner’s screenplay reflects a spiritual journey that the reticent novelist explored in Requiem for a Nun (1951) and A Fable (1954), works revealing a hierological intensity that is absent from his earlier fiction. In The Left Hand of God, a soldier of fortune, Jim Carmody, masquerades as a Catholic priest while on the run from the Chinese warlord he had served for three years. Carmody, a lapsed Catholic, revives his belief in the Christian mission in a recidivistic community of believers seeking a redeemer. Faulkner’s screenplay reveals, I believe, his own reaction to the Nobel Prize, and how that award became his own absolution, transforming him from a writer dedicated to his art alone to a figure who obligated his achievement to the world that honored him. There is an irony here. Initially, Faulkner did not think The Left Hand of God would make a good movie (Wilde 320), but as soon as he began his studio labor, he reported in his laconic fashion: “fantastic work” (Blotner 312). Like Carmody, the soldier of fortune, Faulkner thought of himself as an imposter, a hack in Hollywood, playing the role of great writer that the world had foisted upon him, yet in the process of adapting the novel’s themes and characters, he articulated his own suffering and search for salvation.

The Faulkner who arrived in Hollywood in early 1951 had begun to doubt himself and worried that Hollywood had harmed his style. On April 24, 1947, already three years into writing his magnum opus, A Fable, his version of Christ’s second coming, he confided to his agent, Harold Ober: “I have just found another serious bug in the ms… Seems to have taken me longer than I imagined to get movie scripting out of my reflexes” (Blotner 248-49). A Fable, supposed to be the summa of his faith that man would not merely endure in the atomic age, but prevail, continued to test his own resilience. In a draft of his Nobel Prize speech, he directly addressed his trying Hollywood years, writing for producers who talked incessantly of story angles instead of the truths of the human heart in conflict with itself that Faulkner had spent more than twenty years exploring in his fiction

In Requiem for a Nun, the devout Nancy Mannigoe exhorts her employer, Temple Drake, a relapsed sinner, to allow her to return to her family. Nancy exclaims “just believe” (213). Faulkner, a faithful family man, had periodically run away from family commitments, and even from the Nobel, by drinking himself nearly to death just weeks before his travel to Stockholm to accept his prize. Even so, he recovered in time to accept his honor and his responsibilities, a part of which, paradoxically, he could only fulfill by the piecework in Hollywood that had given him no peace.

What was a Nobel Prize winner doing in Hollywood anyway? Much of his award money had been given over to good works, and his dependable friend and frequent collaborator, the director Howard Hawks, knew that work on The Left Hand of God would compensate the novelist well ($2,000 a week for three weeks) and that Faulkner was the right man for the job, always capable of delivering a script on time and with redoubtable professional dedication.[2] While in Hollywood, no reporter was able to get Faulkner to open up about his work on the screenplay. This inscrutable writer rarely revealed the pride he took in his scripts or the despair that came after so many of them failed to reach the screen. The taciturn Faulkner would usually dismiss his Hollywood years (1932–1955) as mercenary work for hire.[3] So it was, and yet the emotional and thematic residue of his scenarios showed up in his novels, with fleeting and fugitive references to Hollywood in the Snopes trilogy[4] and elsewhere, signaling a subtext of anxiety and even anguish that biographers have left undetected.

Often teamed up with other writers, which was the Hollywood way, a relieved Faulkner welcomed opportunities to work alone with Hawks as a twosome, who had at one time considered forming their own production company. Hawks was Hollywood all over, but also an educated reader of Faulkner who prodded and rewrote his partner’s work after first allowing Faulkner to write what he wanted. Faulkner relied on Hawks, a kind of second voice in Faulkner’s best screenwriting—a worldly and sometimes sarcastic commentator. Faulkner never explained what Hawks meant to him, telling his mother early on his career that there were trade secrets a writer ought not divulge to anyone (The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 1 108), as though saying too much would spoil the impact of his work and contaminate the source of his inspiration—in this case, his transcription of Hawks’ manner, hectoring, but always supportive, directly into the script.

Knowing the existential crisis Faulkner confronted makes it possible to imagine how he read and related to the novel that he transformed into his own testament: “I decline to accept the end of man,” he wrote in his Nobel Prize address, affirming: “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.” But Faulkner decried commercial forces no longer concerned with “problems of the spirit.”[5] He excised from his address his contempt for Hollywood expressed by a producer, “the man in charge talking of ‘angles,’ story ‘angles,’ and then I realized that they were not even interested in truth, the old universal truths of the human heart without which any story is ephemeral—the universal truths of love and honor and pride and pity and compassion and sacrifice” (The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 2 358-59). Those words still resounded when he read on the first page of Barrett’s novel about a mission hospital, half-occupied because those who needed care had “lost faith… Something vital was missing from a mission that had no priest” (1). Father Coleman has died and his replacement, Father O’Shea, on the way to the mission is murdered by a soldier in service to the warlord, Mieh Yang, who relies on Carmody, a rugged sort of overseer executing orders ruthlessly, but also a psychically wounded man, like Faulkner, despairing over the loss of his first love (16), as Faulkner did when his childhood sweetheart married someone else. Carmody loses himself in fishing and hunting, as Faulkner often did. Carmody is a restless man “yearning to escape from all of it” (23)—as Faulkner did, no matter where he lived or what he did. Carmody is, in fact, the ace pilot Faulkner had always wanted to become, the hero on his own in the firmament.

After O’Shea’s murder, a disgusted Carmody rejects his humiliating fealty to Mieh Yang, much as Faulkner rebelled against studio mogul Jack Warner, who insisted on Faulkner’s fulfilling a long term contract that paid him a pittance ($300 to $500 a week) compared to the $2,500 weekly salaries of far less-talented writers. After his own three years of bondage, Faulkner walked away from the contract, worrying that Warner would come after him, although the powerful agent, Charles Feldman, eventually interceded on Faulkner’s behalf (The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 2 358, 360). Warner claimed an absolute authority not that different from a warlord: “Warner has threatened me verbally through the studio man who manages the writers dept. that that studio owns everything I write and that anyone else buys it at his or her peril,” Faulkner wrote to his publisher on February 18, 1946, lamenting his “biblical seven years servitude” (Blotner 223). By 1951, extricated from the Warner regime, Faulkner remained sensitive to how he had been broken on the wheel of what he considered to be a criminal-like enterprise.

The disparity between Faulkner as Hollywood hack and Nobel Prize winner flying to Stockholm, dressed in formal wear at his award ceremony, is akin to Carmody’s transformation when he dons a priest collar and cassock and escapes to the Christian mission, instinctively making the sign of the cross when he is met by village converts: “The life and the moment of the mission were suspended because he chose to stand for a moment quietly in the sun” (74). Much the same had happened to Faulkner in Stockholm during the Nobel ceremony, which he performed with a profound dignity that several observers commented on. In his letters, Faulkner revealed that he was quite aware of his impact, which resulted in a religious-like reverence for the grace of his presence. Similarly, Carmody realizes: “This was his stage, and when eyes watched him, he must give those eyes a good show” (80). If the world in such moments bowed to Faulkner, he in turn, bowed to the world, just as Carmody, when approached by a peasant for a blessing, says, “I, too, seek blessings” (80). This is the beginning of Carmody’s covenant with a community just as surely as Faulkner acknowledged, in his modest fashion, that he “did the best I knew to behave like a Swedish gentleman, and leave the best taste possible on the Swedish palate for Americans and Random House” (Blotner 311). But it was more than that. More for Faulkner than for Carmody in becoming a public cynosure, a wearing and even terrifying role, both men suffer in their effort, in Barrett’s words, to remain gracious, “to answer smiles with smiles, to speak softly [as Faulkner habitually did], to listen patiently” (90). What began as a reluctant sojourn to Stockholm became for Faulkner, as the flight to the mission does for Carmody, a transformative understanding of his place in the world, which was looking to him for guidance.

Anyone familiar with Faulkner’s polite post-Nobel interviews can read his circumspect behavior in Carmody’s reaction to his sacerdotal masquerade: “It was easy, even interesting, to guard his language and to speak as a priest might speak, and amusing to think his own thoughts behind the mask” (105). But having run from servitude to Mieh Yang, Carmody discovers, as did Faulkner on the lam from Hollywood, that the new role is a “new trap” (107). Both Faulkner and Carmody want to feel in charge—not beholden to what Faulkner called “the man in charge,” and yet their pride in independence is severely checked. Carmody, having arrived at his mission, realizes: “They had waited for a priest, and now that he was here, they made a priest out of him, hammering him into the shape of their desiring” (115). Could Faulkner have felt otherwise? On February 28, 1951, even as Faulkner was in Hollywood working on The Left Hand of God, Perrin Lowrey, Jr. wrote to Phil Stone, Faulkner’s mentor: “[A]s a young writer, I wanted to tell someone close to him how much his speech of acceptance in Stockholm meant to those of us who are trying to turn out something good. The dignity and selflessness and awareness of that speech must have been particularly meaningful and encouraging to all the young writers of my generation…. So I wanted him to know…. I simply wanted to thank him for doing so generous and so fine a thing” (Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection, Volume IV 63). If such tributes were gratifying, they were also inhibiting, provoking in Faulkner frequent relapses into drinking and sometimes surly and even shocking public statements and private laments that he could not be the vagabond poet of his dreams and his own soldier of fortune, a character he had written about in his early days as a writer in New Orleans (The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 1 37, 302).

Yet Faulkner could not renounce his public role any more than Carmody can, as he recites in the mass: “Redime et miserere mei [Redeem me and be merciful unto me]” (128). In the last decade of his life, Faulkner submitted himself to frequent trips abroad, to classroom sessions and tutorials with students, all in a quest to achieve, it would seem, a kind of redemption through what Carmody calls a “personal sacrifice… The only thing that gave meaning to human lives” (129). What is said of Carmody is repeated in numerous accounts of Faulkner: “He was so deliberate, so reverent. He never hurried” (131). When Faulkner did a United States Information Service tour of Japan in 1955, the Japanese revered Faulkner nearly as much as the Chinese venerate Carmody. Like Carmody, Faulkner appeared to be a dedicated man with a ceremonial sensibility carried over from his home life, where he insisted on the strict observance of table manners, holiday customs, and his authority as “Pappy,” a down home honorific he took as seriously as his Nobel Prize.[6]

What Faulkner wanted, what people watched him wanted, is what Carmody feels when the people “garlanded him with virtue,” seeking what Faulkner also sought: “something in which to glory.”[7] That kind of reciprocity to men like Faulkner and Carmody who had thought of themselves as their own authorities frightens Carmody as a kind of danger that Faulkner sometimes ran away from when he drank too much on his good will tours: “The realization” comes to Carmody that “these people served him that he might, in his turn, serve them—and that this was the pattern of all life, not in China alone, but whenever men met men, in pride and humility” (163). Barrett’s words, which Faulkner followed so closely in his script, sound Faulknerian, as does that pattern of Carmody’s life in which Carmody reads “the story of his growing reputation” in the people to flock to him. How uncanny as well for Faulkner to read that Carmody “wanted a drink. He told himself he wanted only one, but he knew better than that. He had never stopped at one when he started” (205). Swearing off alcohol had been as habitual with Faulkner as drinking itself was.

Even the incidentals of Carmody’s character hit home—like his love of song and singing Faulkner’s favorite, “Water Boy,” which Faulkner, by all accounts, sang perfectly well (Barrett, 207; The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 1 191). In short, the Nobel Prize winner was assigned a hack job that became a work of redemption that he continued to perfect even after he was off salary, creating a structure and a new character that fulfilled the mission that he and Hawks had been on for twenty years in Hollywood.

That mission included a gritty realism set against the camaraderie of men and women—a rugged sort of idealism verging on spirituality that was expressed in the hardboiled dialogue of film adaptations like To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep, both of which the two men tore into by rewriting the script on set. The director and screenwriter perfected a demotic style not usually associated with Faulkner, but which immediately comes into play in the first words of the script for The Left Hand of God. Hank, a character absent from the novel, cancels out Barrett’s bland piety with a direct voice-over address to the audience: “China, 1951 right under the edge of Tibet a thousand miles from nowhere and for my nickel you could have had the country and the job both two years ago, and by now even Jim too was going around to that idea” (Gleeson-White 762). In the produced film, Faulkner’s Hank is missing—mainly because Darryl Zanuck, who bought the film for Fox, found the voice-over device too talky. But without it—at least in a stripped down version—the significance of Carmody’s return to Catholicism, in the midst of the impending communist takeover of China, is a vapid story that lacks the friction and perspective that Hank, a kind of Walter Brennan sidekick, or a Howard Hawks interlocutor, can contribute to the action. You need a character actor to tell off the hero every so often, as Brennan does in Red River and Rio Bravo, and that Hawks did with actors and screenwriters alike on his sets.[8]

Barrett acknowledges Carmody’s part in the warlord’s violence, but Faulkner went much further—in terms that made his screenplay problematic for Zanuck, who wanted his audiences to root for the hero. Right at the beginning of the screenplay, Hank describes an atrocity: Mieh Yang’s gang attacks a village “shooting until everybody is dead,” with Carmody doing nothing about it. Hank says, “even if he had wanted to because after three years, what was one more Chinese more or less even to us?” (Gleeson-White 762-63). That is a grim sentiment that neither Darryl Zanuck nor William Barrett could abide, but that was absolutely essential to William Faulkner, who had written about just such inhumanity in his Civil War novel, The Unvanquished.

Both Hank and Jim have degraded themselves. Jim recognizes just how debased he has become when the warlord orders him to whip Hank simply because Jim whipped one of Mieh Yang’s men for murdering the priest. The warlord loses face because Jim has taken it upon himself to punish one of his men. Hank explains how Jim saved him after their plane crashed in the warlord’s territory. Jim wrested Hank from the plane’s wreckage and carried his injured co-pilot on his back to safety. This personal bond is what makes Hank root for Jim, who cannot do without Hank any more than Bogart’s character in To Have and Have Not can pilot his own ship without the rummy Eddie, a disabled character (another Faulkner original) who shows that the hero’s strength is inherent to his humanity. Hank does not blink at the evil they have become a part of, but his very candor is what makes their redemption possible.

When Faulkner introduces lines that do not appear in Barrett’s novel, the new words invariably define Carmody’s plight and what is missing from his life. “I only have time for what comes along,” Carmody says, rationalizing his opportunism that will give way to the time of meditation that will be available to him when he dons his priestly garments (Gleeson-White 768). “What have I done?” Carmody asks Hank, who predicts the whipping for himself that his friend and savior has not the wit to anticipate (Gleeson-White 770). But Carmody’s question also anticipates his reckoning with the self-defeating behavior that Hank has pointed out. Carmody has a need for salvation that his bravado of self-sufficiency is meant to suppress: “Religion is for children,” he sneers, believing he has recanted his Catholic upbringing, telling the dying Father O’Shea he was a Catholic (Gleeson-White 779). “There is no such thing,” Shea replies, echoing the words of Gavin Stevens in Requiem for a Nun that there is no such thing as “was,” an assertion repeated by Carmody to a Buddhist monk after O’Shea dies: “I was a Catholic once. Maybe it would be better if he had been right, and there is no such thing as ‘was’” (Gleeson-White 781, 783).

Although the explicit theme of the novel and screenplay is Carmody’s struggle with his Catholicism, religious belief is a subtext for Faulkner’s concern with human identity and the forces abroad that may stifle the individuality that Faulkner so prized. “Are you afraid of the Soviets?” Carmody asks Mrs. Sigman, wife of the radical Dr. Sigman, who has fled fascist Europe (Gleeson-White 802). Ostensibly his question, which is not in Barrett’s novel, is addressed to her growing concerns over how the only reliable sources of supply come from communists. Although she does not answer Carmody, he takes her silence as a no—to which he responds: “Then you are braver than me because I am” (Gleeson-White 802). His answer heralds the staunch anti-communism Faulkner would express in his US-sponsored trips abroad. He believed that a conception of God and an understanding of how the past shaped one’s identity were lacking in the collectivist agenda. Only by acknowledging the weight of the past could one, paradoxically, respond to change and exert free will.

That Faulkner’s thrust was far more political than Barrett’s is evident in his treatment of Dr. Sigman, whose views presage exactly what Faulkner would say about race five years later in the midst of the Civil Rights struggle. Sigman has given up on the mission because “we—the white men—have lost face. . . What else can these people think of a foreign god who cannot even keep aspirin in his dispensary.” He tells his wife: “I’m not going to keep you here until there are communist troops hammering at the gates” (812). Faulkner could be as despairing as Sigman—telling critic Malcolm Cowley “man stinks the same stink no matter where in time”—and yet the doctor holds out a Faulknerian hope for the “human race, which for all its baseless and folly, is still capable of fidelity and sacrifice for the sake of love” (Blotner 185; Gleeson-White 813). Without love, as Faulkner showed in novels like Absalom, Absalom!, a father, Thomas Sutpen, rejects his son, Charles Bon, because he is of another race; Henry Sutpen, Thomas’s son, rejects his half-brother Bon for the same reason, but their sister, Judith Sutpen, rears Bon’s son, out of the love she felt for her half-brother. The anti-clerical Dr. Sigman concedes: “I respect priests. Because a man who gives his life for anything, has given all he has” (Gleeson-White 842). This sacrifice of self paradoxically results in Carmody finding himself, as Faulkner did by eventually making peace with himself, his marriage, and his world in the final years of his life (The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 2 518).

The difference between Sigman and Carmody is that the latter, like Faulkner, did not remain in the compound of his own conceits, but could stand outside himself, so to speak, as he did on Oxford, Mississippi’s public square, listening and attending to black and white alike. Mrs. Sigman is astounded at the bond between Carmody and the Chinese villagers and farmers. “You might have lived among these hill people for years,” she tells Carmody, who becomes a Faulkner character who would not be amiss among the poor white Bundrens of As I Lay Dying and the peasant-like Griers (Gleeson-White 843). Carmody learns to speak a hill dialect that Faulkner perfected in “Two Soldiers” and “Shall Not Perish,” his World War II stories, which echo Lincoln’s Gettysburg faith that a “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” a faith that Faulkner also drew on for his ambitious World War II film, the unproduced Battle Cry, which included scenes set in China (Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection, Volume IV 126-62, 257-86). What Carmody learns is what Faulkner practiced, listening to and drawing his strength from his community. Hank, who scoffed at Carmody’s growing sense of mission, eventually capitulates and begins to call his co-pilot “Father” (Gleeson-White 890). Carmody draws the community around him like a family, just as Faulkner did with his characters and kin (The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 2 218-19, 241, 268-69).

But the role Carmody plays fits as uneasily as it did for Faulkner: “there is too much in him that’s is not a priest” (Gleeson-White 887), Mrs. Sigman observes, sounding like Estelle Faulkner, who wrote to his editor: “Truly, he has too much to do here—It is bad, I know, for an artist to undertake all Bill does—but how it circumvent it? I am at loss” (Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection, Volume II 95). But Faulkner kept returning to his responsibilities, like Carmody saying he cannot forsake those who patiently await his appearances in “hope, but above all the trust” (Gleeson-White 899).

Ultimately it is Carmody’s faith in himself and in his ability to serve the greater good that saves himself and his mission. The novel’s denouement suited a screenwriter who exhorted his daughter’s high school graduation class to change the world one individual at a time.[9] In A Fable, it is said, “even just one will be enough,” when the mutiny of a French regiment in World War I is led by Faulkner’s Christ figure (90). Refusing to resort to violence against Mieh Yang, Carmody, as in the novel, convinces the warlord that he would gain little from destroying the mission, and even less by torturing Carmody, who would only remind Mieh Yang’s followers of how much face he lost in employing Carmody in the first place. This nonviolent resolution of conflict is reminiscent of the ending of The Unvanquished, in which an unarmed Bayard Sartoris outfaces his father’s killer, who, Bayard realizes, has exhausted the need for vengeance. Bayard exposes himself to a higher morality, as Carmody does by submitting himself to the discipline of the Catholic Church for impersonating a priest. What Faulkner took from Barrett, and what Faulkner struggled to embody in his own life and career, was the recognition that individuals can only fulfill themselves as individuals by recognizing a code of values that is superior to their own impulses and desires.


[1] The film is available on DVD, release date November 8, 2011.

[2] I provide the details of the extensive Hawks-Faulkner collaborations in The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 1 (300, 355-58, 359, 361-63, 379, 381, 383, 384, 385, 387-88, 395, 401-02, 409, 439n34, 441n7) and The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 2 (3-4, 8, 11, 23-27, 29, 31-33, 35, 37-38, 43-44, 46, 48-49, 73, 138, 209, 216, 228-30, 236, 239-40, 243, 244-46, 248, 254-55, 260-61, 264, 266, 270, 279, 318, 358-61, 365, 375, 393-94, 397-98, 407-08, 549n24, 542n25, 546n100, 559n24, 560n23).

[3] See Faulkner’s comments on his years in Hollywood in Gwynn and Blotner (102); Meriwether and Millgate (240-43; 13-14, 20, 27, 48, 52, 54, 56, 70, 86-87, 100, 161, 169).

[4] See, for example, The Town (14-15).

[5] James B. Meriwether, “Address Upon Receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature,” Stockholm, December 10, 1950.

[6] As Pappy, Faulkner even wore a Chinese gown. See The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 1 (218).

[7] Faulkner on glory: The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 2 (238, 327, 343, 407).

[8] Faulkner understood Brennan’s importance, having turned in on March 10, 1936 a treatment for Banjo on Knee, in which Brennan plays the kind of Mississippi River denizen Faulkner was familiar with. Then Faulkner built up Brennan’s role as Eddie in To Have and Have Not. See The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 2 (247-49). For Hawks’s behavior on Red River and Rio Bravo, see A Real American Character (123-27, 158-61).

[9] James B. Meriwether, “Address to the Graduating Class University High School,” Oxford, Mississippi, May 28, 1951.

Works Cited

Barrett, William E. The Left Hand of God. Doubleday, 1951.

Blotner, Joseph, ed. Selected Letters of William Faulkner Random House, 1976.

Brodsky, Louis Daniel and Robert W. Hamblin, eds. Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection, Volume II: The Letters. University Press of Mississippi, 1984.

_____. Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection, Volume IV: Battle Cry: A Screenplay by William Faulkner. University Press of Mississippi, 1985.

Faulkner, William. A Fable. Random House, 1954.

_____. Requiem for a Nun. Random House, 1951.

_____. The Town. Random House, 1957.

Gleeson-White, Sarah, ed. William Faulkner at Twentieth Century-Fox: The Annotated Screenplays. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Gwynn, Fred L. and Joseph L. Blotner, ed. Faulkner in the University: Class Conferences at the University of Virginia. University Press of Virginia, 1959.

Inge, M. Thomas ed. Conversations with William Faulkner. University Press of Mississippi, 1999.

Meriwether, James B., ed. Essays, Speeches, and Public Letters. Kindle edition Random House, 2004.

Meriwether, James B. and Michael Millgate, ed. Lion in the Garden: Interviews with William Faulkner 1926-1962. Random House, 1968.

Rollyson, Carl. The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 1: The Past Is Never Dead 1897-1934. University of Virginia Press, 2020.

_____. The Life of William Faulkner: Volume 2: This Alarming Paradox 1935-1962. University of Virginia Press, 2020.

_____. A Real American Character: The Life of Walter Brennan. University Press of
Mississippi, 2015.

Wilde, Meta Carpenter and Oren Borsten, A Loving Gentleman: The Love Story of William Faulkner and Meta Carpenter. Simon and Schuster, 1976.

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