Most Oxford, Mississippi residents used to think their local writer, William Faulkner, made their town look bad in his stories. Minds changed when he won the Nobel Prize in 1949. Today, the small town is commemorating the 50th anniversary of Faulkner’s death with events including a day-long, tag team reading of his novel “The Reivers” at his antebellum home, Rowan Oak. His penciled notes for the novel “A Fable” are still legible on the walls of his downstairs office.
Despite the delta’s stifling humidity, Faulkner didn’t care for artificially contrived interiors. The day after Faulkner died his wife had an air conditioner installed in her upstairs bedroom. Today, visitors of Rowan Oak (25,000 a year) can pace the floors of the Greek Revivial as he did but without breaking a sweat.