"A Rose for Emily" (Text Key 243)

short story

"A Rose for Emily" was the first Faulkner short story to be published in a national magazine. The details of its composition are uncertain. Several scholars have suggested Faulkner started writing it as early as February, 1927, on the basis of a letter he wrote his publisher that month saying he was working on "a collection of stories of my townspeople." Faulkner might have been thinking of a book like Winesburg, Ohio (1919), a cycle of stories by his mentor Sherwood Anderson, but this book was never written, nor is there clear evidence to support such an early date for "A Rose for Emily." It's more likely that Faulkner wrote it in 1929. The story's earliest appearance in the record is in that October, when Scribner's magazine wrote him a letter rejecting it. In that version Emily's last name was Wyatt, and it included a scene between her and Tobe that does not appear in the version that was published in the April, 1930, issue of Forum magazine. (For more on this cancelled scene, see the "Manuscripts Etc." link at left.)

After 1930, Faulkner made a few more revisions for the story's publication in the collection These 13 (1931). This is the version that became and remains one of Faulkner's most frequently re-published texts: it appears, for example, in A Rose for Emily and Other Stories (1945), The Portable Faulkner (1946), Collected Stories of William Faulkner (1950), The Faulkner Reader (1954), A Rose for Emily (1956), and Selected Short Stories of William Faulkner (1962). Our representation is based on its publication in the Collected Stories.

SOURCE: Joseph Blotner, ed., Selected Letters of William Faulkner.

First Publisher: 
Forum Magazine
First Publisher Date: 
April 1930
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Vintage International
Edit Copy Publisher Location: 
New York
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How to cite this resource:
Burgers, Johannes H., and Elizabeth Cornell. "Faulkner's 'A Rose for Emily.'" Added to the project: 2012.  Additional editing 2018: John Corrigan, Jennie J. Joiner.  Digital Yoknapatawpha, University of Virginia, http://faulkner.iath.virginia.edu

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