Today is Mr. Faulkner's 113th birthday. His novels, mostly set near his home in Oxford, Mississippi tell the story of the early 20th century American South. White, black, rich, poor, smart and not so smart, farm and town. To modern ears they are a tough read.
The Faulkner House Bookstore, around the corner from St. Louis Cathedral, in New Orleans recommends Faulkner's short stories to those unfamiliar with his novels. My favorite collection is the Modern Library's "Selected Short Stories." Many of the themes, characters, and set pieces from the novels had the origin in the shorts.
If you are interested in a true throwback, the University of Virginia taped several lectures and question answer sessions of Faulkner's while he was writer in residence at the university in 1957-58. They may be heard here.