William Faulkner – Rowan Oak

William Faulkner is one of the most preeminent American writers of the twentieth century. Faulkner especially embodied the Southern sensibility. His writings were inspired by local stories of Indians, runaway slaves, old colonels and spinsters and are interwoven with his own memories of life in a South torn between traditional ways and modern development. His literary reputation included poetry, novels, short stories and screenplays.

Although William Faulkner became very famous during his lifetime, he shied away from the spotlight as much as possible. Rowan Oak, located in Oxford, Mississippi, was William Faulkner’s private world, in reality and imagination.  Faulkner named this home Rowan Oak in 1931 after the rowan tree, a symbol of security and peace.  Faulkner’s years spent at Rowan Oak were productive, ultimately winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949 and the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in 1954 for A Fable.

Rowan Oak sits on four acres of superb hardwood and cedar and has a magnificent walkway of large eastern red cedar trees.  These cedar trees were planted after the yellow fever epidemic swept the South, as it was believed that cedars “cleansed” the air. American Heritage Trees worked with Rowan Oak staff to collect seeds from the eastern red cedar trees, the glorious southern magnolia, the 200 year old white oak, Osage orange, and catalpa tree.