Short Fuse Podcast #67: Reflecting on William Faulkner

By Elizabeth Howard




Episode Summary

In this episode, Elizabeth Howard talks to Dr. Jay Watson, the Howry Professor of Faulkner studies and Professor of English at the University of Mississippi and Chair of the Faulkner Yoknapatawpha Conference. Their conversation touches on William Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, the writer’s connection to Oxford, and why he continues to influence literary culture and readers across the globe.

2024 is the 50th anniversary of the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, the longest held literary conference in the United States, and the 100th anniversary of the first book William Faulkner published — The Marble Faun, a long narrative poem. This year’s Conference will take place at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, July 21 – 25.

Episode Notes

Square Book Store, Oxford, Mississippi

Square Books is a general independent bookstore in three separate buildings (about 100 feet apart) located on the historic town square of Oxford, Mississippi, home of the University of Mississippi and many great writers, including William Faulkner, Barry Hannah, Larry Brown, and, for a time, both Willie Morris and John Grisham. The main store, Square Books, is in a two-story building with a cafe and balcony on the second floor; Off Square Books is a few doors down from the main store and has lifestyle sections such as gardening and cookbooks; Square Books, Jr., the children’s bookstore, is in a building on the east side of the square; above it (in the site of the original bookstore) is the more recently opened Rare Square Books, which feature collectible, vintage, first edition books across a broad price range. Square Books is known for its strong selection of literary fiction, books on the American South and by Southern writers, a large inventory of reduced-price remainders, and its emphasis on books for children. The store hosts the popular Thacker Mountain radio show and over 150 author events a year.

The Short Fuse Podcast is hosted and produced by Elizabeth Howard. Her articles related to communication and marketing have appeared in European Communications, Investor Relations, Law Firm Marketing & Profit Report, Communication World, The Strategist, and the New York Law Journal, among others. Her books include Queen Anne’s Lace and Wild Blackberry Pie, (Thornwillow Press, 2011), A Day with Bonefish Joe (David Godine, 2015) and Ned O’Gorman: A Glance Back (Easton Studio Press, 2016). She leads reading groups at the Center for Fiction in Brooklyn, New York. @elizh24 on InstagramLearn more at Elizabeth Howard.

The Short Fuse is distributed through The Arts Fuse, an online journal of arts criticism and commentary.

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