This page has a selection of William Faulkner’s short stories with links where possible. I will add more stories as I find them. Collected Stories has 42 selections from Faulkner.
William Faulkner Short Stories
“A Rose for Emily”
A Southern spinster, Emily Grierson, has died. She had been a recluse, so the townspeople are curious about her and her house. The narrator recounts episodes from her life. (Summary & Analysis)
This story can be read in the preview of A Rose for Emily and Other Stories. (18% into preview)
Abner Snopes is being tried in a small-town court for allegedly burning down his landlord’s barn. Mr. Harris testifies about the dispute they had, including an obvious threat from Snopes. His young son, Sartoris, is called to testify. The boy knows he will have to lie. Harris reconsiders and lets the matter drop. Snopes is kicked out of town, and finds a new job working as a sharecropper.
This story can be read in the preview of Collected Stories. (3% in)
“Shingles for the Lord”
The narrator’s father is up before daylight to borrow some tools from Mr. Killegrew. It takes him a long time to get back because the old man was out fox hunting. His father agreed to help reroof the church this morning. Now they’re late. When they arrive, they find the others waiting. There’s lots of talk about how much time they’ve lost. There’s also a discussion about who’s going to be responsible for making up the lost work.
This story can also be read in the above preview of Collected Stories. (29% in)
“The Tall Men”
The deputy sheriff leads a draft investigator to the McCallum’s house. The two McCallum boys failed to register for the draft, so the investigator has a warrant for their arrest. When they arrive a doctor is tending to the boys’ uncle. He injured his leg at work.
This story can also be read in the above preview of Collected Stories. (49% in)
“A Bear Hunt”
Ratliff is a sewing machine salesman who can be seen all over town with many different people. Lucius Provine is forty now, but in his younger days he was a rabble rouser, causing many public disturbances. There’s an Indian mound in the area that’s believed to be mysterious in some way. Ratliff relates an incident that occurred between himself and Provine.
This story can also be read in the above preview of Collected Stories. (68% in)
Miss Minnie Cooper has accused a black man, Will Mayes, of attacking her. Some of the town’s men discuss the accusation at a barbershop. They are easily riled against Mayes and make plans to mete out justice themselves.
Ernest Cotton murders Jack Houston over an injustice. He tries to dispose of the body and feign ignorance about what happened.
“Landing in Luck”
A plane lands. The instructor in front asks the other man, Cadet Thompson, how many training hours he’s had. It’s been just over seven. The instructor is impatient for Thompson to fly on his own. Others have gone solo with less instruction time. Thompson isn’t in the best frame-of-mind, but he agrees to take off by himself.
Through their cabin window in Tennessee, a family sees two men with horses approaching. One of the men inside retrieves a rifle; he recognizes the Union cloak. The oldest man warns him off. The war is over. There’s a knock at the door. It’s a servant of Major Soshay Weddel, who’s looking for accommodations for them and their horses. There’s some tension, but they come to an arrangement.
Read “Mountain Victory”
“Mule in the Yard”
Old Het excitedly informs Mannie Hait that there’s a mule in her yard. This isn’t the first time it has happened. Mannie is annoyed, and she deals with the problem.
“Pantaloon in Black”
Rider, a huge strong black man, digs a grave for his deceased wife, Mannie. He won’t accept any help from his workmates. His aunt and friends want him to come with them but he refuses. He goes to his house. He sees Mannie standing in the kitchen door but she fades away. He goes to work the next morning but he’s still greatly affected by his grief.
“Race at Morning”
A hunting party, including a twelve-year-old boy who narrates, sets out one morning after a deer.
Two Indians go to the slave quarters of the plantation. It’s deserted but they’re not surprised. The last time the Man died, the same thing happened. They don’t like the way things are now. They reach the central cabin. All the slaves are gathered there. The Indians announce themselves and their purpose, but there’s no response. The know the one they’re looking for is gone. The just-deceased Master’s slave is missing. His presence is needed for their custom.
Flem Snopes and a Texan bring some ponies into town to sell. The Texan puts on an auction but it starts slowly. He is a seasoned manipulator, so he finds a way to get things going.
“That Evening Sun”
Nancy is an African-American washerwoman who’s been treated unjustly in the town. She’s working for the narrator’s family as a temporary cook. A man, possibly her husband, believes that the child she’s carrying isn’t his. He leaves but Nancy is afraid that he’s coming back to attack her.
“That Will Be Fine”
It’s almost Christmas. Georgie, the seven-year-old narrator, looks forward to the money he’s going to get from his Uncle Rodney—maybe a quarter. The family will be taking the train to his grandpa’s place to open their presents. Uncle Rodney has trouble with money. He was helped out by Georgie’s dad when he stole some money, although his mother believes it was persecution. Georgie knows that Rodney does carry out business because he’s helped him with it. Rodney just likes to keep it quiet because he prefers to do business with ladies instead of men.
Read “That Will Be Fine”