One answer (there are others, like that they both wrote mystery fiction; on Faulkner's efforts see below) is the artwork of Arthur Hawkins, Jr. (1903-1985). In his piece on this talented book jacket artist, Steven Heller glowingly writes that Hawkins' "highly stylized" designs are "most remarkably poster-like with a European accent."
With its succession of stark diminishing black and blue rectangles leading the eye to a relieving patch of white, Hawkins' minimalist jacket design for Sanctuary strikingly visualizes the book's title.
Six months after Sanctuary was published in early 1931, The Hanging Woman, a Dr. Priestley detective novel by John Rhode (Cecil John Charles Street), appeared.
The similarities between Hawkins' design for Sanctuary and his design for The Hanging Woman are, shall we say, arresting.
For the American edition of the novel Hawkins changed the color scheme from Sanctuary's oppressive blue-black-white to a brighter red-grey-black-white.
By adding the details of a lined floor and a cobwebbed window and using alternating shades of grey to suggest the openings at the sides of the hall, Hawkins gives greater substance to the Rhode jacket.
One inevitably wonders what dread thing might be lurking in the darkness, just out of sight....
The spine of the Rhode jacket also has a similar rectangular motif to the Faulkner, yet it too is wonderfully embellished, with a length of dangling rope to suggest the awful presence of the hanging woman of the title.
The next year, 1932, Faulkner's Light in August was published. Like Sanctuary, it has a Hawkins- designed jacket, one with a color palette that replicates that of The Hanging Woman.
I write about The Hanging Woman and John Street, the man behind John Rhode, in my Masters of the "Humdrum" Mystery (2012). But for those of you haven't read Masters, I will be having some more to say about The Hanging Woman this Friday.
More on John Street at The Passing Tramp:
The Street-Carr Connection
Review of Twice Dead (1960)
Review of Licensed for Murder (1958)
Review of The Bloody Tower (1938)
More on William Faulkner at The Passing Tramp:
Review of Knight's Gambit (1949)
Faulkner vs. Wellman: The Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine 1946 Showdown
Review of Intruder in the Dust (1949 film adaptation)