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This spring, UVA Press is proud to be publishing THE LIFE OF WILLIAM FAULKNER, Volume 1: The Past is Never Dead, 1897-1934 by acclaimed literary biographer Carl Rollyson. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949, Faulkner was a southerner who became widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of all time. Despite being such a studied figure, however, to date no biography has captured the complexities at the heart of the man and his work. In THE LIFE OF WILLIAM FAULKNER, Rollyson portrays a new Faulkner—a man of astonishing paradoxes. Based on extensive interviews with family and friends of Faulkner, as well as unparalleled access to primary and secondary source materials, this first of what will be a major two-volume work offers a dramatic narrative that breaks the bounds of the traditional literary biography. In short, the book offers the most comprehensive biography of William Faulkner in forty-five years, revealing new information about the American literary icon.

Savvy readers know there’s more to publishing than the “Big 5.” University presses, independent publishers, and small literary presses aren’t constrained by market trends or corporate edicts. We can take risks on important work that might not make it to the New York Times Best Seller list, but has the potential to spark change.

To celebrate the unique and important contributions university presses make to the publishing landscape, we decided to come up with our own reading challenge!