Keeping Faulkner on a Short Leash

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The roguish, hard-drinking novelist is a beloved American archetype, but one the State Department took extra care to control as an international ambassador, according to recently released documents on William Faulkner. Since the author couldn’t be counted on to responsibly manage his own drinking, the US Information Agency put together careful guidelines for a successful trip, including supervision, accommodations, and tricks to keep Faulkner’s attention. Open Culture has the documents in full.


Dinah Fay is a poet, copywriter, and social media maven living in Brooklyn. She is the co-host of the Brick City Speaks reading series in Newark, where she is pursuing an MFA in writing from Rutgers University. More from this author →