Saturday, September 28, 2013

Happy birthday, William Faulkner and Irvine Welsh!

William Faulkner
Two of my all-time favorite writers, William Faulkner and Irvine Welsh, celebrated their birthdays during the past week. Faulkner, a Noble Prize-winner, was born on Sept. 25, 1897 near Oxford, Miss. and Welsh was born on Sept. 27, 1958 in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Faulkner, who died of a heart attack at the age of 64 in 1962, published 19 novels, scores of short stories and a number of poems during his career. Faulkner is generally considered to be one of the greatest Southern writers ever, right up there with Truman Capote, Harper Lee, Mark Twain and Tennessee Williams.

What follows is a complete list of his novels in order of publication.

- Soldier’s Pay (1926)

- Mosquitoes (1927)

- Sartoris (1929)

- The Sound and the Fury (1929)

- As I Lay Dying (1930)

- Sanctuary (1931)

- Light in August (1932)

- Pylon (1935)

- Absalom, Absalom! (1936)

- The Unvanquished (1938)

- The Wild Palms (1939)

- The Hamlet (1940)

- Go Down, Moses and Other Stories (1942)

- Intruder in the Dust (1948)

- Requiem for a Nun (1951)

- A Fable (1954)

- The Town (1957)

- The Mansion (1959)

- The Reivers (1962)

Some of Faulkner’s books are ranked among the best books ever published, and, as you might have imagined, his books often find their way onto recommended reading lists and other “best of” lists. What follows is a run-down of just a few of those lists.

Two of his books won Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction – “A Fable” (1955) and “The Reivers” (1963). In 1998, the Modern Library included “The Sound and the Fury,” “As I Lay Dying” and “Light in August” on its list of “100 Best English Language Novels of the 20th Century.”

“Sanctuary,” “The Unvanquished,” “Go Down, Moses,” “Intruder in the Dust,” “The Sound and the Fury,” “Absalom, Absalom!” and “As I Lay Dying” were named to the James Agee Film Project’s “A Southern List: 125 Great Southern Books.” “As I Lay Dying,” “The Bear,” “Light in August,” “The Sound and the Fury” and “Absalom, Absalom!” were named to the AP Literature Recommended Reading List.

“As I Lay Dying,” “Light in August” and “The Sound and the Fury” were named to Oprah Winfrey’s famous Oprah’s Book Club. “As I Lay Dying” and “The Sound and the Fury” were also named to The College Board’s list of “101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers.” The editors at the Book-of-the-Month-Club picked “The Sound and the Fury” and “Light in August” for a best-of list they called “The Well-Stocked Bookcase.”

“Absalom, Absalom!” and “The Sound and the Fury” were also named to the Norwegian Book Club’s 2002 list of “The Top 100 Books of All Time." Easton Press also included “The Sound and the Fury” in its famous series of books called the “100 Greatest Books Ever Written.”

Last year, the Library of Congress also included “The Sound and the Fury” in its list of “88 Books That Shaped America.” In March of 2011, Esquire magazine included “As I Lay Dying” on its list of “75 Books Every Man Should Read.”

Welsh is best known for his 1993 novel, “Trainspotting,” which was adapted to film in 1996 and starred Ewan McGregor. I read “Trainspotting” in 1997, and it’s one of the most awesome books I’ve ever read. This one of a kind book is written in phonetic Scottish dialect and is written mostly in the stream-of-consciousness style.

As you might imagine, Welsh has written a number of other books, and tonight I give you a list of all the novels and short story collections he’s published over the years. Here they are:


– Trainspotting (1993)

– Marabou Stork Nightmares (1995)

– Filth (1998)

– Glue (2001)

– Porno (2002)

– The Bedroom Secrets of Master Chefs (2006)

– Crime (2008)

– Skagboys (2012)

Short Story Collections:

– The Acid House (1994)

– Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance (1996)

– If You Liked School You’ll Love Work (2007)

– Reheated Cabbage (2009)

In the end, how many of Faulkner’s books have you read? How many of Welsh’s books have you read? What did you think of them? Which would you recommend? Which are your favorites? Let us know in the comments section below.

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