Faulkner Seventy-five years ago this week, William Faulkner's first novel was published, called Soldier's Pay. It was inspired by his World War I service in the Royal Canadian Air Force. But it was another war that brought commentator Fred Woodress to Oxford, Miss., and an afternoon with Faulkner. Having learned about Faulkner in the Army's college program at Ole Miss, he asked a waitress about him in a local restaurant. She was Faulkner's wife, and told Woodress to go see him. He describes the afternoon smoking and rocking on the the Faulkners' front porch, and another visit several years later.