"I set out deliberately to write a tour-de-force. Before I ever put pen to paper and set down the first word I knew what the last word would be and almost where the last period would fall." — William Faulkner on As I Lay Dying
As I Lay Dying is Faulkner's harrowing account of the Bundren family's odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. As they carry Addie in a homemade coffin, pulled along by a team of mules, the Bundrens are haunted by greed and fear - their journey both mocks and confirms our humanity. Their story is told in turn by each of the family members - including Addie herself - as well as those they encounter on their way.
This fractured viewpoint epitomizes Faulkner's visceral modernist style, as the varied voices reveal secrets, expose desires, and bring back the dead. A benchmark achievement and one of the most influential novels in American fiction, As I Lay Dying not only endures but prevails.