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Books for sale at
The following editions of Light in August
are available for purchase online:
Light in August: The Corrected Text
Novels, 1930-1935: As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary, Light in August, Pylon
Library of America
Light in August (Cassette)
Audio Cassette (Unabridged)
October 6, 1932, by Harrison Smith and Robert Haas.
One of Faulkners best novels, Light in August tells
the compelling story of Joe
Christmas, an orphan of ambiguous ancestry who believes himself
to be part-black. The novel is significant in its themes of community,
race, and gender, as well as in its depiction of Calvinistic religion.
The novel opens and closes
Grove, a literally barefoot and pregnant girl from Alabama who
leaves her home to seek for her unborn childs father, Lucas
Burch, who has fled to avoid the burdens of parenthood. Her
search leads her to the similarly-named Byron
Bunch, a simple planing mill hand, who befriends her and falls
in love with. Byron discusses his feelings for her with his closest
friend and spiritual advisor, the Rev. Gail
Hightower, a former Presbyterian minister who was forced to
give up his pulpit after his wife committed suicide.
At the heart of the novel,
however, is Joe Christmas, also a worker at the planing mill and
roommate for Lucas Burch. Raised as an orphan (and named for the
day on which he was found on the steps of the orphanage as a baby),
Christmass uncertainty about his racial lineage leads him
on a wayward—and at times, destructive—journey of self-discovery,
culminating finally in Jefferson,
Mississippi, in a disastrous affair with a spinsterish civil rights
Burden, that leads to his downfall.
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