'Light In August' Is Published

Light in August is an exploration of racial conflict in the society of the Southern United States.

Originally Faulkner planned to call the novel Dark House, which also became the working title for Absalom, Absalom! Supposedly, one summer evening while sitting on a porch, his wife remarked on the strange quality that light in the south has during the month of August. Faulkner rushed out of his chair to his manuscript, scratched out the original title, and pencilled in Light in August.

Lena Grove, a pregnant teenager, has made her way to Mississippi in search of her baby’s father. She hitches a ride into the small town of Jefferson, which is home to a planing mill. One of the workers at the mill, Joe Christmas, is a brooding, racially ambiguous man who appeared suddenly at the mill one day in search of a job. After gaining employment, he was soon joined at the mill by another man named Joe Brown. The two formed a partnership, making and selling liquor illegally, and eventually quit their jobs.