The Saddest Words: William Faulkners Civil War Audiobook, by Michael Gorra Play Audiobook Sample

The Saddest Words: William Faulkner's Civil War Audiobook

The Saddest Words: William Faulkners Civil War Audiobook, by Michael Gorra Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Joe Barrett Publisher: Highbridge Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 9.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 7.38 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: December 2020 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9781696600354

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

58:51 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

01:45 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

35:20 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

How do we read William Faulkner in the twenty-first century? asks Michael Gorra, one of America's most preeminent literary critics.

Should we still read William Faulkner in this new century? What can his works tell us about the legacy of slavery and the Civil War, that central quarrel in our nation's history? These are the provocative questions that Michael Gorra asks in this historic portrait of the novelist and his world. Born in 1897 in Mississippi, Faulkner wrote such iconic novels as Absalom, Absalom! and The Sound and the Fury, creating in Yoknapatawpha County the richest gallery of characters in American fiction, his achievements culminating in the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. But given his works' echo of "Lost Cause" romanticism, his depiction of black characters and black speech, and his rendering of race relations in a largely unreconstructed South, Faulkner demands a sobering reevaluation. Interweaving biography, absorbing literary criticism, and rich travelogue, The Saddest Words recontextualizes Faulkner, revealing a civil war within him, while examining the most plangent cultural issues facing American literature today.

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“The Saddest Words, [is] an entry point into one of the secret themes of Faulkner’s oeuvre: the Civil War, and the collective madness that underlay the Southern resistance to abolition.”

— New Republic 


  • “Rich in insight…timely and essential…as we again confront slavery’s stain and who among us should enjoy [citizenship’s] privileges.”

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “Rich, complex, and eloquent.’”

    — The Atlantic
  • “Reading Faulkner today we discover just how much imagination and courage can be required to face the past.”

    — Wall Street Journal


  • New York Times Book Review Staff Pick
  • A  #1 Amazon bestseller
  • A New York Times Pick of Best Books Now in Paperback

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About Michael Gorra

Michael Gorra, author of Portrait of Novel, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, is the Mary Augusta Jordan Professor of English Language and Literature at Smith College and the editor of the Norton Critical Editions of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury.

About Joe Barrett

Joe Barrett, an actor and Audie Award and Earphones Award–winning narrator, has appeared both on and off Broadway as well as in hundreds of radio and television commercials.