- Count No’Count: Flashbacks to Faulkner, Introductory essay by Carvel Collins, (1983) published posthumously
- The Devil Beats His Wife (1929)
Benjamin F. Wasson, Jr., was born November 17, 1899, to B. F. and Rebeka Wasson in Greenville, Mississippi. He attended the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in Oxford, Mississippi, where he met on his first day there the now world-famous William Faulkner. Their interest in art and literature made them friends. Wasson, Faulkner, and Judge Lucy Somerville Howorth were instrumental in founding the dramatic society at Ole Miss.
Wasson is best known as Faulkner’s literary agent, friend, and sounding board. In a 1977 interview in Greenville with Ben Wasson and his sister Mary Wilkinson by Mississippi writer Charlotte Capers, Capers states that Wasson is a novelist, critic, and dramatist, and friend to many Mississippi writers. Wasson wrote a regular arts column for the Greenville Delta Democrat-Times.
Wasson’s first effort as a literary agent occurred when Wasson was living in New York and a poor Faulkner sent him the manuscript for Flags in the Dust. At the time Wasson was writing his own novel, The Devil Beats his Wife, but he took the time to take Faulkner’s manuscript to various publishers. Faulkner himself traveled to New York to see Wasson. In the end, Wasson’s own publisher, Harcourt, Brace and Harrison Smith, agreed to publish Faulkner’s novel if Wasson would edit it, which he did for $50. Faulkner was paid $300 for the manuscript, which, according to Wasson, was then stolen, so they had to ask the publisher for more money to get Faulkner home. The novel was eventually published as Sartoris.
Wasson went to Hollywood in 1933 as a movie agent, but he returned to New York in 1938 again to be a literary agent. In the late 1940’s, he moved back to Greenville, Mississippi, where he became literary and arts editor for the Delta Democrat Times.
Wasson outlived Faulkner by almost twenty years. Their friendship lasted for more than thirty years, according to the University Press of Mississippi, as their paths crossed and recrossed in New York, Hollywood, and Mississippi. Wasson died on May 10, 1982, before his book, Count No’Count: Flashbacks to Faulkner, was published in 1983. The final preparation for the publication of his memoir about Faulkner (or flashbacks as Wasson calls them) about Faulkner was approved by his sister, Mary Wasson Wilkington.