As I Lay Dying
By William Faulkner
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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner ranked # 35 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
As I Lay Dying is a novel published in 1930 and written by William
Faulkner, one of the most notable American novelists of the twentieth
century. The novel, which Faulkner himself referred to as a "tour de
force," was the author's fifth and is read in many schools and
colleges across the United States and the United Kingdom. The title
comes from Book XI of Homer's The Odyssey.
The book is told in stream of consciousness style by 15 different
narrators in 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie
Bundren, the wife of a poor Mississippi hill farmer, and her family's
quest--noble or selfish--to honor her wish to be buried with "her
people" in the town of Jefferson.
On the journey, Addie's favorite child, Jewel, saves his mother's
body from flood and fire, and the thoughts of each of the Bundrens
are revealed. Most interesting is Darl, the second oldest, who
exhibits moments of prescience and attempts to put an end to the
As is the case in much of Faulkner's work, the story is set in
Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, a mythical rendering of the
writer's home of Lafayette County in that same state.
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