How did writer William Faulkner, so deeply associated with Mississippi, become a fixture at the University of Virginia? After daughter Jill moved to Charlottesville in 1954, he and wife Estelle began visiting, and the birth of their first grandchild increased the appeal. In spring 1956, UVA English faculty members Fred Gwynn and Floyd Stovall met with the famous visitor and invited him to be the first Balch Writer-in-Residence from 1957-58. During his time at UVA, Faulkner participated in thirty-six different public events, gave two addresses, read a dozen times from eight of his works, and answered over 1400 questions from audiences made up of various groups, ranging from UVA students and faculty to interested local citizens. Most of those sessions were recorded on reel-to-reel audio tapes, the most advanced sound recording technology of the time.
In this Walking Tour of Grounds, you will follow Faulkner's footsteps during his time at UVA: from his office in New Cabell Hall to lectures and press conferences in Rouss Hall, Peabody, and Alderman Library, and elsewhere on Grounds. You will be able to see photographs of Faulkner at these events and hear audio clips recorded nearly 75 years ago. Both the photographs and audio clips are part of one of the great archives of American literature: the University of Virginia’s William Faulkner collections in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.