Nancy, an African housemaid, is about to be hanged for killing his mistress's baby: her lawyer, Gavin Stevens, compels the mistress to confess the reason for Nancy's crime. The law takes its cours; but justice in Faulkner's sense, has been done.
William Faulkner's novels have always been explosively dramatic: by a logical extension he has given this moving story the framework of a play, each act preceded by an historical account of the scene to follow. It moves on three levels: the intense drama of the crime and the confession; the interplay of human passions; and the present influence of the ever-living past.
Albert Camus' dramatization of the book was successfully presented at the Royal Court Theatre in 1958.
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