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As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying is a novel published in 1930 and written by William Faulkner, widely considered the finest American novelist. The novel, which Faulkner himself refered to as a "tour de force," was the author's fifth and is read in many high schools and colleges across the United States.

The book is told in stream of consciousness style by 15 different narrators in 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren, the wife of a poor Mississippi hill farmer, and her family's quest--noble or selfish--to honor her wish to be buried with "her people" in the town of Jefferson.

On the journey, Addie's favorite child, Jewel, saves his mother's body from flood and fire, and the thoughts of each of the Bundrens is revealed. Most interesting is Darl, the second oldest, who exhibits moments of prescience and attempts to put an end to the family's trip.

As is the case in much of Faulkner's work, the story is set in Yoknapatawpha County, a mythical rendering of the writer's home of Lafayette County, Mississippi.