With the exception of Fairview and Caldwell Lanes, the primary streets and roads throughout the neighborhood are named after Southern authors and writers. The narrow “byways” are all named for local people who were in the chain of title for property purchased for the New Neighborhood.


William Cuthbert Falkner (NOTE: the original spelling of his name) was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. Although talented in drawing and writing poetry at an early age, William was bored with his studies as early as the sixth grade. As the result of a mutual interest in poetry, a lawyer named Phil Stone became an early literary mentor to Faulkner. Never finishing high school, Faulkner moved in with Stone in New Haven early in 1918, and took his first job with the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. His name was spelled “Faulkner” in employee records, most likely due to a typing error.

Shortly after this period, William tried to join the U.S Army Air Force, but was turned down due to his height (five feet, six inches tall). He then applied to the Royal Air Force in Canada, keeping his name “Faulkner” because it looked more British. The war ended before he completed training and he received an honorable discharge. Although having seen no combat, Faulkner returned to Oxford, Mississippi, in December of 1918 and created exaggerated stories of his RAF service.

In 1919, Faulkner enrolled in the University of Mississippi in Oxford, never mentioning that he had not completed high school. While a student he published poems and short stories in The Mississippian, the school newspaper. He dropped out of school after only three semesters and, between 1920 and 1924, held several odd jobs, including an assistant in a bookstore in New York City and a period as postmaster of a university post office. He seemed to spend most of his time reading, playing cards, and drinking with friends, while losing and misplacing mail.

William’s friend Phil Stone was able to publish a volume of Faulkner’s poetry in The Marble Faun in 1924. Following this period, he spent time in New Orleans, Paris, France and England. Shortly after his return in 1925, he published his first novel, Soldier’s Pay (1926). Although struggling early with some of his novels on controversial topics, he entered what was probably his greatest artistic period from 1929 to 1942. During this time he completed The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom (1936), The Unvanquished (1938), and Go Down Moses (1942). Faulkner married Estelle Oldham, a childhood sweetheart, in 1929, following her divorce from another man that same year. During the 30’s, Faulkner struggled with the Depression Era and had trouble making ends meet. He even signed a contract with MGM in 1932 as a screenwriter. He later also worked with 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers. In the mid-thirties, Faulkner began spending time at Wright’s Sanatarium, a nursing facility, where he would go to recover from his drinking binges.

In 1946, a gentleman named Malcolm Cowley (editor of The Portable Hemingway, 1944) published The Portable Faulkner, a book which was to recreate popular and critical interest in Faulkner’s works. William Faulkner received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1949. He earned the National Book Award for Fiction and a Pulitzer Prize in fiction for A Fable (1954). He also received a Pulitzer Prize for The Reivers (1962). Faulkner was writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia [this editor’s alma mater] from February to June, 1957.

Following a series of falls from horses, William Faulkner died of a heart attack on July 6, 1962, at the age of 64. He is buried at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Oxford, Mississippi, his hometown.

How did William Faulkner achieve such greatness as an American author in spite of never finishing high school, never receiving a college degree, living in a small town in one of the poorest states in the USA, and experiencing constant financial troubles during the Great Depression? William Faulkner – a truly remarkable man!

Information for much of this article was obtained from an article by John B. Padgett who maintains a website, William Faulkner on the Web.


What are the incredible chances that not one, but two, of our neighbors (living on Faulkner Way) have personal ties to William Faulkner! Astronomical? Not Actually!

Meredith Jennings (317 N. Faulkner Way) used to fox hunt with William Faulkner when she lived in Memphis, Tennessee. He even helped her with an English class project when she was a senior in high school. [Meredith is not telling what her final grade was on that project.]

Beth Fountain (213 N. Faulkner Way) told me that her grandfather tutored William Faulkner in math in Oxford, Mississippi. In her grandfather’s diary, he wrote that he [William Faulkner] would never amount to much because he couldn’t “get” math. Beth’s comment regarding this note is worth printing: “Now as I look through the neighborhood, I don’t see a street named after my grandfather, but I do live on Faulkner! Lesson learned – don’t say anything negative about anyone!”

These two stories are priceless among many that we probably have among our neighbors. If you or one of your neighbors has an interesting anecdote or story to share, please let me know. Thanks to Meredith and Beth for sharing these stories from their past.

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