Book Notification

Sin and Salvation Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Sin and Salvation Books

Sartoris (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sound and the Fury (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
As I Lay Dying (1930)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sanctuary (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Light in August (1932)Description / Buy at Amazon
Absalom, Absalom! (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Requiem for a Nun (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sin and Salvation is a series of novels by renowned American author William Faulkner. Set in post-World War I Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, the Sin and Salvation series of novels are best known as American Southern Literature. The series of novels is composed of 7 titles that he published between 1929 and 1951. The novels are characterized by a shift to modern literary techniques that was characterized by non-adherence to literary conventions and experimentation with language. Using these experimental narrative techniques the Sin and Salvation series of novels explore the interaction and psychological complexity of characters, offering deeper insights as compared to the more traditional novel. William Faulkner first introduced Yoknapatawpha County in the 1930 published novel, As I lay Dying. The county is a fictionalized version of Lafayette County, Mississippi, where Faulkner grew up. The novels can be read as one interconnected narrative given that the characters in the novel can arguably be said to experience and struggle with the same things such as loss of social status, identity crisis, loss of income, and dysfunctional families. Before the series, most literature portrayed the American South as an impossibly foreign and backward country. Faulkner’s Sin and Salvation series of novels came in to change all the negative perceptions by bringing new insights about the South through his portrayal of his characters in their Yoknapatawpha County setting.

Even as William Faulkner wrote the technically refined The Sound and the Fury and the tragicomedy As I Lay Dying in an effort to get a wider audience, it was not until the early years of the 30s that Faulkner’s works began gaining traction. The Sin and Salvation novels would become even more popular after the publication of Sanctuary, which had a comic undertone interspersed with a violent theme. The novel went on to become a mainstream financial success and receive much critical acclaim, being named sixth on the Modern Library’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. His next novel Light in August also performed well to establish the author as one of the best contemporary writers ever to emerge from the American literary South post World War I. Light of August has also consistently ranked as one of the top English novels of the 20th century. Sanctuary, the fifth novel was the series biggest commercial success after it was adapted into several movies, including Cargo 200 in 2007, Sanctuary in 1961, and the Story of Temple Drake in 1933. Requiem for a Nun was adapted for the stage in 1956 and was translated into French in 1957. In 2009, Absalom, Absalom, and The Sound Of The Fury won William Faulkner the Nobel Peace Prize, with the judges declaring the former, the best Southern novel ever written.

The Sin and Salvation series of novels provide intimate insights into a world of deep conservative rural society, finding it hard to let of of its past and removed from the urban industrial world around them. While the setting is conservative, the novels are anything but, given that they borrow elements that you would find in Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Honore de Balzac, James Joyce, or Joseph Conrad. The Sound and the Fury combines radical technical experimentation with the rural county setting. The novel’s strongest point is its focus on the stream consciousness monologues between the Compson brothers and their relationship with their black servant. As I Lay Dying is a tragicomedy of the familial conflict between the poor Bundrens as they journey to bury their matriarch in faraway Jefferson. With more characters and a more complex structure Light in August explores racial identity from the perspective of destiny by contrasting the career of a dark complexioned orphan, Joe Christmas and Lena Grove, rural woman seeking to find her biological destiny. The emotionally intense Absalom, Absalom! is a depiction of the valiant effort of the Southerner, seeking self-emancipation as portrayed through the civil war and post-civil war experiences, and conflicting perspectives of the Sutpen family.

One of the most popular novels in the Sin and Salvation series is the critically acclaimed, The Sound and the Fury. The book has four sections that tell the narrative of the disintegration of the Compson family. With common themes and characters, the sections provide the insights of the different members of the family. The first section is narrated by Benjy and is mostly about the sensual impressions combined with memories spent with his siblings. Quentin takes up the second episode narrating a continuous sequence of events. For the most past, Quentin reminisces about his fights and adventures in Cambridge and Harvard and most disturbing his obsession with his sister Caddy’s loss of virginity. The third section is narrated by Jason Compson IV, who is an inept businessman that steals from Miss Quentin his niece, Caddy his sister and Mrs. Compson his mother. The last section sees Miss Quentin make away with the money Jason had stolen from the three of them, and run away to a circus. The focus of the section though is the perspective and dignity of Dilsey the housekeeper, who never loses her cool despite the tribulations and trials that the family goes through.

Another popular novel in the Sin and Salvation series is the 1930 published, As I Lay Dying. Addie Bundren, the matriarch of a poverty-stricken white family is dying, and calls her family and friends to bid her farewell. A bitter and proud woman she despises her husband and all religion. Jewel her only son is the only person who still commands love or respect from her. She now wants to be buried in her hometown of Jefferson and has convinced the family to fulfil her wishes. The journey to Jefferson sees each member of the family narrate the happenings of the past and their feelings about their mother’s unusual request. The journey is filled with a lot of setbacks and obstacles, the biggest of which are the disagreements between Jewel and Darl the eldest sons of the family. Jewel wants to fulfill his mother’s wishes at all costs, while Darl will do anything to frustrate them. A myriad of unfortunate incidents such as the near washing away of the casket, and the youngest son injuring his leg to the extent of needing a doctor also frustrates the family. Given that the journey has taken so long, the body is now beginning to decompose emitting a terrible odor that attracts buzzards and cats. When they finally get to Jefferson and bury their mother, the family is so divided that they all scatter except for Anse. He returns to their Jefferson house a changed man complete with new teeth, a haircut, and shave, all financed from money he had stolen from his siblings.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Sin and Salvation

Leave a Reply