Yoknapatawpha County is in Mississippi, but you won't find it on any maps. In his third novel, Flags in the Dust
, William Faulkner created the mythological Mississippi county Yoknapatawpha (Yawk-naw-puh-toff-uh), with its county seat in Jefferson. This particular novel, however, was not published during Faulkner's lifetime; it appeared posthumously in 1973. A number of Faulkner's other novels are set in Yoknapatawpha County, however.
The county of Yoknapatawpha and its county seat of Jefferson are based on the real county of Jefferson, Mississippi, and its county seat of Oxford. The name Yoknapatawpha is derived from authentic Native American names found on old maps of Jefferson County.
In 1936, Faulkner drew a map of his fictional county, showing where various scenes from his novels and short stories take place, and he first included the map in Absalom, Absalom!, published the same year.
The creation of this mythological county is one of modern literature's greatest feats.