SOLDIER'S PAY was Faulkner's first novel. In the Summer of 1925, working in New Orleans, Faulkner met Sherwood Anderson, who encouraged him to write a novel. Unlike his later books, this post-war story of a wounded, helpless and dying officer returning home to his father and his fickle sweetheart is set in Georgia, but Faulkner's powerful; depiction of the south, and his extraordinary characterisation, are already evident.
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A writer with the range, capacities, and formal preoccupations we associate with Joyce, Proust and Virginia Woolf -
Faulkner has inexhaustible invention, powerful imagination, and he writes, generally, like an angel -
For range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterisation, humour and tragic intensity [Faulkner's Works] are without equal in our time and country -
By universal consent of critics and common readers, Faulkner is now recognised as the strongest American novelist of the century, clearly surpassing Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald, and standing as an equal in the sequence that includes Hawthorne, Melville, Mark Twain and Henry James -
His mind to him a kingdom was; or rather, a county, Yoknapatawpha. He breathed on it and gave it life, a luminous world of rustics, comic and sinister, of inchoate historical processes and tragic human beings, earning dignity by endurance - Independent