"A man's moral conscience is the curse he had to accept from the gods in order to gain from them the right to dream."
American author William Faulkner was born on Sept. 25, 1897, in New Albany, Mississippi. Uninterested in school, he dropped out after 11th grade without receiving a high school diploma. After applying for the US Army and being rejected because of his height (he was 5’5’’), Faulkner enlisted with the Canadian Air Force, but never fought. When he returned from the war, he enrolled at the University of Mississippi and began writing for the university’s paper and magazine. In 1942 he published his first book of poetry, "The Marble Faun," but it received negative reviews and little notice. During a trip to New Orleans Faulkner met Sherwood Anderson, author of "Winesburg, Ohio," and was inspired to try novel writing. Between the years of 1926 and 1931, Faulkner wrote "Mosquitoes" (1927), "Sartoris" (1929), "The Sound and Fury" (1929), and "As I Lay Dying" (1930). However, he received little attention for any of them. ("As I Lay Dying" was written during night shifts while Faulkner worked at a power plant.) It was "Sanctuary" (1929) that finally gained him literary attention. The next several books he wrote sold better than anything he had written before, and Faulkner went on to write several of his most celebrated works, including "Light in August" (1932) and "Absalom, Absalom!" (1936). Faulkner earned little money from his books, however, and consequently worked as a Hollywood screenwriter. In 1950, Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, which finally brought him acknowledgment and financial success.