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“A deft hand has woven this narrative. . . . This book rings true.”―The New York Times
Faulkner’s first novel, Soldiers’ Pay (1926), is among the most memorable works to emerge from the First World War. Through the story of a wounded veteran’s homecoming, it examines the impact of soldiers’ return from war on the people―particularly the women―who were left behind.
said: “Ma’am, let’s get married.” She huddled quickly in the blanket again, already knowing a faint disgust with herself. “Bless your heart, Joe. Don’t you know my name is Mrs.?” “Sure. And I know, too, you ain’t got any husband. I dunno where he is or what you done with him, but you ain’t got a husband now.” “Goodness, I’m beginning to be afraid of you: you know too much. You are right: my husband was killed last year.” Gilligan looking at her said: “Rotten luck.” And
ludicrous in his shirt and fat pink legs and the trousers jerked solemn and lethargic into the room. “Jones,” supplied Januaris Jones, faintly. Emmy, however, was gone. “Ah, yes, Mr. Jones.” The rector fell upon him anew, doing clumsy and intricate things with the waist and bottoms of the trousers, and Jones, decently if voluminously clad, stood like a sheep in a gale while the divine pawed him heavily. “Now,” cried his host, “make yourself comfortable (even Jones found irony in this)
passed his wife’s room she called to him. “What were you scolding Cecily for, Robert?” she asked. But he stumped on down the and soon she heard him cursing Tobe porch. Mrs. Saunders entered her daughter’s room and found her swiftly dressing. The sun broke suddenly through the rain and long lances of sunlight piercing the washed immaculate air struck sparks amid the dripping trees. “Where are you going, Cecily?” she asked. “To see Donald,” she replied, drawing on her
not hear from me for some time. I will write when I can. . . .”) Donald Mahon, hearing voices, moved in his chair. He felt substance he could not see, heard what did not move him at all. “Carry on, Joe.” The afternoon dreamed on, unbroken. A negro, informal in an undershirt, restrained his lawn mower, and stood beneath a tree, talking to a woman across the fence. Mrs. Burney in her rigid unbearable black; Mrs. Worthington speaks to me, but Dewey is dead. Oh, the poor man, his grey face.
his own familiar day, was approaching noon. It must be about ten o’clock, for the sun was getting overhead and a few degrees behind him, because he could see the shadow of his head bisecting in an old familiarity the hand which held the control column and the shadow of the cockpit rim across his flanks, filling his lap, while the sun fell amost directly downward upon his other hand lying idly on the edge of the fuselage. Even the staggered lower wing was partly shadowed by the upper one.