90 pages 3 hours read

William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1930

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Teacher Introduction

As I Lay Dying

  • Genre: Modernist Fiction; Southern Gothic
  • Originally Published: 1930
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 870L; College/Adult
  • Structure/Length: Novel divided into sections narrated by different characters over 59 chapters; approx. 261 pages; approx. 6 hours and 51 minutes on audiobook
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: As I Lay Dying is a classic modernist novel by William Faulkner that delves into the lives of the Bundren family as they embark on a journey to bury their deceased mother, Addie, in her hometown. The central conflict revolves around the family’s arduous and emotionally charged journey through the harsh Mississippi countryside, each member dealing with their own inner turmoil and personal motivations. The novel is renowned for its multiple narrators; each one provides a unique perspective on the family’s journey, revealing their complex and often dysfunctional relationships. Faulkner’s storytelling explores themes of death, family, identity, and the human condition in this rich and challenging narrative.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Death, grief, family dysfunction, sexual abuse, the mutilation of a corpse, and Southern Gothic elements

William Faulkner, Author

  • Bio: Born 1897; died 1962; American author and Nobel laureate known for his contributions to modernist literature and his exploration of the American South; celebrated for novels that often feature intricate narrative structures and complex characters
  • Other Works: The Sound and the Fury (1929); Sanctuary (1931); Light in August (1932); Absalom, Absalom! (1936); Intruder in the Dust (1949)