One of America's greatest writers, William Faulkner wrote fiction that combined spellbinding Southern storytelling with modernist formal experimentation to shape an enduring body of work. In his fictional Yoknapatawpha County--based on the region around his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi--he created an entire world peopled with unforgettable characters linked into an intricate historical and social web. An introduction to the Nobel-Prize-winning author's life and work, this book devotes opening chapters to his biography and literary heritage and subsequent chapters to each of his major works. The analytical chapters start with his most accessible book, The Unvanquished, a Civil-War-era account of a boy's coming of age. The following chapters orient readers to elements of plot, character, and theme in Faulkner's masterpieces: The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, and Absalom, Absalom! Also analyzed and discussed are some of Faulkner's most often anthologized short stories, including "A Rose For Emily" and "Barn Burning," and the longer stories "The Bear," "Spotted Horses," and "The Old Man" that were incorporated in the novels Go Down, Moses, The Hamlet, and If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem. Clear, insightful analyses of the elements of Faulkner's fiction are supplemented with alternative readings from a variety of critical approaches including gender, rhetorical, performance, and cultural studies perspectives.