The Wild Palms (Paperback)
In this feverishly beautiful novel--originally titled If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem--William Faulkner interweaves two narratives, each wholly absorbing in its own right, each subtly illuminating the other. In New Orleans in 1937, a man and a woman embark on a headlong flight into the wilderness of illicit passion, fleeing her husband and the temptations of respectability. In Mississippi ten years earlier, a convict sets forth across a flooded river, risking his own chance at freedom to rescue a pregnant woman. From these separate stories Faulkner composes a symphony of deliverance and damnation, survival and self-sacrifice, a novel in which elemental danger is juxtaposed with fatal injuries of the spirit. The Wild Palms is grandly inventive, heart-stopping in its prose, and suffused on every page with the physical presence of the country that Faulkner made his own.
About the Author
William Faulkner, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. He published his first book, The Marble Faun, in 1924, but it is as a literary chronicler of life in the Deep South--particularly in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, the setting for several of his novels--that he is most highly regarded. In such novels as The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, and Absalom, Absalom! he explored the full range of post-Civil War Southern life, focusing both on the personal histories of his characters and on the moral uncertainties of an increasingly dissolute society. In combining the use of symbolism with a stream-of-consciousness technique, he created a new approach to fiction writing. In 1949 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. William Faulkner died in Byhalia, Mississippi, on July 6, 1962.