Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide
"The Reivers" by William Faulkner
• Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech
• Equal Pay Act prohibits sex-based wage discrimination
• Community Mental Health Act alters mental health services
Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County was inspired by his life in Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner was named for his great grandfather, William Clark Falkner, AKA The Old Colonel, who was a farmer, businessman, lawyer, and best-selling author. Faulkner’s grandfather founded the first national bank of Oxford and his father owned a livery stable. William Faulkner died a month after the publication of “The Reivers,” subtitled “A Reminiscence.”
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Southern boy grows up: unauthorized road trip, bordello, horseracing hijinks
Grandfather’s car gets stuck in a mudhole in Hell Creek bottom.
A Faulkner novel that manages to be lively and fun as it takes on racism and class in the South.
320 pages or 11 listening hours
Act. Being passive is being complicit.
Racism on full display, including a “skeleton” in the closet. Women are literally wives or hookers.
Get things going with sardines. Next, distribute shoeboxes filled with fried chicken, deviled eggs and cake. Finish with one more round of sardines to get people out the door quickly.
“A gentleman accepts the responsibility of his actions and bears the burden of their consequences, even when he did not himself instigate them but only acquiesced to them, didn’t say No though he knew he should.”
If you don’t have access to/desire to be in a racetrack OTB site, DIY a Parsham racing venue and live stream horse racing. No need for Derby hats; it’s not that kind of scene.
What makes this novel feel Southern? How did you feel about the dialect and character descriptions in the novel?
How does Falkner present justice in the South? What happens when Boon’s stray bullet “creases the buttock of a Negro girl”? What do people do when they interact with a policeman? What does sheriff Butch require to release Ned and Boon from jail? How is Lucius disciplined when he returns to Yoknapatawpha County?
Why does Lucius think hate is part of living? Why is Lucius ashamed when he fears for Uncle Parsham and sees Everbe as a victim?
Who is the boss during the trip to Memphis? Why?
Who is the “family skeleton” and what kind of person is he?
Compare Otis and Uncle Parsham.
Talk about the brothel, the gold tooth, the sacrifice made for Boon, and who takes care of who. How does Mr. Binford fit in?
Borrow a car and sneak away to Memphis without telling anyone. Visit the National Civil Rights Museum. Take a horseback riding lesson or ride the restored carousel in the Children’s Museum. Find your favorite ride at the Edge Motor Museum. Behave yourself in a saloon and a spa massage parlor. Save the trip to Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, until you read both Faulkner Pulitzers.
1969 film adaptation “The Reivers.” Faulker sold the rights to his 1931 novel “Sanctuary” which was made into two films, “The Story of Temple Drake” in 1933 and “Sanctuary” in 1961. Faulkner was a screenwriter on numerous films; it’s been said that his writing for Hollywood was pursued only for financial reasons. Faulkner’s first screenplay work was on “Today We Live” in 1933.
1939 Faulkner” “Three Famous Short Novels” (“Spotted Horses,” “Old Man,” “The Bear”); 1929 “The Sound and the Fury” also set in Yoknapatawpha County; “Faulkner and Humor,” edited by Fowler and Abadie, 2009, Edited by Fowler and Abadie 2009.