15. Yoknapatawpha County
First Appeared: Sartoris (1929)
Founding Father: William Faulkner
Notable Residents: The Sartoris Family, the Compsons, the Bundrens, Joe Christmas, the McEacherns, Thomas Sutpen, Horace Benbow
Yoknapatawpha County is the well-explored landscape of the master of modernist Southern tomes. Based upon the greater county of Oxford Mississippi, this northwestern area is bounded on the north and south by rivers, and features an extensive hill country in its eastern parts. But geography aside, this is the landscape of some of the most intense, difficult, and heartbreaking fictional lives ever taken to paper. Faulkner expertly used his county to talk about the problems of modern life, of racism, of suffering, of mental health, and of the extent of man's compassion.