"The father of American literature per Faulkner" NYT crossword answer is:TWAIN (5 letters length)
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William Faulkner is widely regarded as the father of American literature. He was a Nobel Prize-winning novelist, poet, and short story writer who wrote about the American South and its culture. His works are known for their complex and often experimental use of language, as well as their exploration of themes such as race, class, and gender. His most famous works include The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Absalom, Absalom! He is credited with helping to shape the modern American literary landscape and his influence can still be felt today.