William Faulkner (1897–1962) was a Nobel Prize–winning American novelist and short story writer. One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, his reputation is based mostly on his novels, novellas, and short stories, but he was also a published poet and an occasional screenwriter. The majority of his works are based in his native state of Mississippi. Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, “for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.” He has often been cited as one of the most important writers in the history of American literature. In 1962, he was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction.