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NEW ALBANY: BORDEN DEAL & WILLIAM FAULKNER

Borden Deal - New Albany, MSWilliam Faulkner - New Albany & Oxford, MSThe past is never dead.
William Faulkner

New Albany is William Faulkner's birthplace and Union County, Mississippi, is the inspiration for his fictional Yoknapatawpha County. Within his chronicles of Yoknapatawpha, Faulkner said that he sought to capture "the passions of the hope, the beauty, the tragedy, the comedy of man, weak and frail but unconquerable." Located one block west of the site where Faulkner was born, the Union County Heritage Museum celebrates the beloved writer and the local connections to many of his most popular works including The Reivers.

Born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, near New Albany, Borden Deal is another popular writer whose work and legacy are honored by the Museum. Deal wrote 21 novels and over 100 short stories. His books and stories have been translated into twenty different languages, but they all reflect a Southerner's unique sense of place and attachment to the land. Deal's father lost the family's farm during the Great Depression, an episode instructive to the writer about the pain associated with the loss of property. At sixteen, Deal lost his father who was killed in a truck accident.

  A reproduction of Faulkner's Varner's Store   Blues Trail Marker in New Albany   The Faulkner Literary Garden  
  A reproduction of Faulkner's Varner's Store   Blues Trail Marker in New Albany   The Faulkner Literary Garden  

The theme of loss visited Borden Deal again in World War II. He completed the manuscript for a novel during the war, but it was lost. After the war in 1946, Deal enrolled in the University of Alabama where his creative writing teacher Hudson Strode encouraged his interest in fiction. While a student, Deal published his first short story entitled Exodus. In 1981, during the celebration of the University of Alabama's 150th year, Deal was proclaimed one of its Sesquicentennial Scholars.

Deal's second novel Dunbar's Cove (1957) was blended by Hollywood with William Bradford Huie's novel Mud on the Stars for the 1960 film Wild River with Montgomery Clift as an agent for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Borden Deal received both Guggenheim and MacDowell Colony fellowships in 1957, the same year that his first novel Walk Through the Valley became a bestseller. He died of a heart attack in Sarasota, Florida, on January 22, 1985.

  New Albany, the Birthplace of William Faulkner   Salvia and Bench at The Faulkner Literary Garden   Union County Heritage Museum  
  New Albany, the Birthplace of William Faulkner   Salvia and Bench at The Faulkner Literary Garden   Union County Heritage Museum  

Source: The Encyclopedia of Alabama, Borden Deal by Alan Brown.

For more information on these two authors visit:

> Union County Heritage Museum
> Encyclopedia of Alabama: Borden Deal
> Oxford, MS: William Faulkner

  
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