A landmark in American fiction, Light in August explores Faulkner's central theme: the nature of evil. Joe Christmas - a man doomed, deracinated and alone - wanders the Deep South in search of an identity, and a place in society. After killing his perverted God-fearing lover, it becomes inevitable that he is pursued by a lynch-hungry mob. Yet after the sacrifice, there is new life, a determined ray of light in Faulkner's complex and tragic world.
Burns throughout with a fierce indignation against cruelty, stupidity and prejudice - a great book
Faulkner has inexhaustible invention, powerful imagination, and he writes, generally, like an angel
By universal consent of critics and common readers, Faulkner is now recognised as the strongest American novelist of the century, clearly surpassing (Ernest) Hemingway and (Scott) Fitzgerald, and standing as an equal in the sequence that includes Hawthorne, Melville, Mark Twain and Henry James