This Norton Critical Edition is based on the 1985 corrected text and is accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations. Backgrounds and Contexts is divided into three sections, each of which includes a concise introduction by Michael Gorra that carefully frames the issues presented, with particular attention to As I Lay Dying s place in Faulkner s literary life. Contemporary Reception reprints American, English, and French reviews by Clifton Fadiman, Henry Nash Smith, Edwin Muir, and Maurice Coindreau, among others, along with Valery Larbaud s never-before-translated preface to the first French edition of the novel. The Writer and His Work examines Faulkner s claim to have written the novel in six weeks without changing a word. It includes his comments on the book s composition along with his later thoughts on and changing opinions of it, sample pages from the manuscript, his Nobel Prize address, and the little-known short story in which he first used the title. Cultural Context reprints an essay by Carson McCullers and an excerpt from James Agee s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men along with other materials that address questions of Southern Agrarianism and the Southern grotesque. Criticism begins with the editor s introduction to As I Lay Dying s critical history and scholarly reception. Eleven major essays are provided by Olga W. Vickery, Cleanth Brooks, Calvin Bedient, Andre Bleikasten, Eric Sundquist, Stephen M. Ross, Doreen Fowler, Patrick O Donnell, Richard Gray, John Limon, and Donald M. Kartiganer. A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are also included.