CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 30, 2007 — An original handwritten manuscript by William Faulkner has been donated to Southeast Missouri State University’s Center for Faulkner Studies.
The one-page manuscript, titled “Sorority,” was penned by Faulkner in 1933 as a gift to a young female college student who was visiting Faulkner’s step-daughter at Rowan Oak, the author’s Oxford home.
Jane Isbell Haynes, formerly of Memphis and currently a resident of Irvine, Calif., is the donor of the manuscript. A church archivist, businesswoman, manager of her family farm, and parent of three children, Haynes, now 86 years old, did not become interested in Faulkner until age 60, when she attended a Faulkner seminar at Southwestern (now Rhodes College) in Memphis. Following that seminar, she began visiting antiquarian book stores to acquire Faulkner books to read.
Haynes went on to become an avid Faulkner collector and author of numerous treatments of the author’s life and works, including two books dealing with Faulkner’s ancestry and background: William Faulkner: His Tippah County Heritage and William Faulkner: His Lafayette County Heritage.
Haynes had previously donated the research files for those two books, along with other of her Faulkner materials, to the Faulkner Center. Those materials include rare historic photographs of the Mississippi towns of Ripley and Oxford, both closely associated with Faulkner.
“I have long admired the work that Mr. Brodsky and Dr. Hamblin are doing, and I’m very pleased that ‘Sorority’ will be preserved and made available for scholars and students to use,” Haynes stated.
Southeast’s Center for Faulkner Studies was created in 1989, following the University’s acquisition of the internationally renowned Louis Daniel Brodsky collection of Faulkner materials. Dr. Robert Hamblin, professor of English, is the founding director of the Center.
Hamblin said, “Jane Haynes is a remarkable person, an inspiration to all of us in Faulkner studies. She returned to college to graduate in her 50s, started a notable Faulkner career in her 60s, and in her 80s has made her Faulkner materials available to scholars and students.”
Hamblin continued, “The Center for Faulkner Studies and Southeast Missouri State University are very pleased and honored that Mrs. Haynes has chosen us as the repository and caretaker of her Faulkner treasures.”
The Faulkner Center is planning an exhibit of the Haynes materials, including the manuscript of “Sorority,” in the fall.