Robert Hamblin has been teaching William Faulkner’s novels and stories for 40 years, but he’s never had a class this big.
Hamblin, the director of the Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University, is currently leading a discussion of Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying on Oprah.com for Oprah’s Book Club, the world’s largest book club with more than 600,000 members.
Winfrey has chosen three Faulkner novelsᾰAs I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, and Light in Augustᾰas her 2005 summer selection. Faulkner, recipient of the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature, is considered one of America’s greatest novelists.
Thadious Davis of the University of Pennsylvania will lead the discussion of The Sound and the Fury, while Arnold Weinstein of Brown University will lead the discussion of Light in August.
For the June discussion of As I Lay Dying, Hamblin is conducting a number of short online video lectures in “Oprah’s Classroom” about the novel’s characters, techniques, and themes. The weekly lectures are posted each Monday night on Oprah.com at 7:00 p.m. ET, throughout June. Hamblin also will answer questions submitted online by book club members while the novel is being read.
Hamblin has co-authored 11 books on Faulkner, the most recent being A William Faulkner Encyclopedia and A Companion to Faulkner Studies, both published by Greenwood Press. For the past 15 years, he has organized and moderated the “Teaching Faulkner” sessions at the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference at the University of Mississippi. He has directed Southeast’s Faulkner Center since its creation in 1989.
For more information on Oprah’s Book Club, visit http://www2.oprah.com/books/books_landing.jhtml.