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Every Day by the Sun: A Memoir of the Faulkners of Mississippi

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  333 ratings  ·  78 reviews
In Every Day by the Sun, Dean Faulkner Wells recounts the story of the Faulkners of Mississippi, whose legacy includes pioneers, noble and ignoble war veterans, three never-convicted murderers, the builder of the first railroad in north Mississippi, the founding president of a bank, an FBI agent, four pilots (all brothers), and a Nobel Prize winner, arguably the most impor ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Crown (first published January 1st 2011)
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Dean Faulkner Wells offers a unique and personal view into the private world of William Faulkner. The daughter of youngest Faulkner brother Dean, who died in a plane crash prior to her birth, spent a great deal of time in the company of Nobel Laureate William Faulkner. As a child, she did not recognize the importance of the man who generously undertook raising her following her father's death. To his niece, the writer was simply known as "Pappy."

William Faulkner took on the responsibility withou
Many years ago I read Joseph Blotner’s massive (and massively numbing) biography on William Faulkner. In fairness to Blotner, I thought he did a good job with the younger Faulkner, but it was with his account of the older writer that I sort of lost interest. But maybe it was just a page count thing. With Dean Faulkner Wells’ Every Day by the Sun, I think I’ve found a good account of the author in his later years. However, what’s missing throughout is any real literary analysis. What Wells’ provi ...more
Lovely and witty memoir enmeshed within the Mississippi of her ancestors. I don't think I've enjoyed a memoir this much in years, and I read a goodly number. Dean Faulkner Wells has the subtle, outrageous, and poignant eyes of her home place. Telling the context of her days as a girl, her youth, her Pappy and her word gift- it was not only a joy to read but filled with minutia information both intriguing and core to the culture. The Oxford farmstead "bells", the choice of smoking or wine, not bo ...more
This is a must-read for any Faulkner fan. A well-told and researched tale by William Faulkner's niece. Her father, Faulkner's youngest brother, was killed in an airplane accident scant weeks before she was born, and so the famous author assumed responsibility for her upbringing. Her experience of him is much different that many others - she never saw him drunk, for instance - but nonetheless, her story is an interesting an insightful look into Faulkner's life from the perspective of an adoring y ...more
Laura Mccool
This book has been like learning about a new friends family over coffee in a Mississippi town square. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The tone and descriptions were familiar to me, having a family rooted in the south and "southern ways" for generations. The question of love and deep respect never entered my mind, each person mentioned in this book was a heartfelt part of her family; "her people". I smiled at some of Faulkner's family tales and felt sincere empathy over others. I remembered many of my o ...more
In Every Day by the Sun, Dean Faulkner Wells recounts the story of the Faulkners of Mississippi, whose legacy includes pioneers, noble and ignoble war veterans, three never-convicted murderers, the builder of the first railroad in north Mississippi, the founding president of a bank, an FBI agent, four pilots (all brothers), and a Nobel Prize winner, arguably the most important American novelist of the twentieth century. She also reveals wonderfully entertaining and intimate stories and anecdotes ...more
Sandra Ross
I've always been ambivalent (I preferred his short stories to his novels, with "A Rose for Emily" being my favorite because the storyline was familiar and could have been written about any small Southern town) about William Faulkner as an author, which as a Southerner and a writer, in some circles, puts me one step away from being a traitor to all things Southern (I hate watermelon too so I'm sure that puts me over the line) and puts a big cloud of suspicion over my head regarding my Southern au ...more
Jo Ann
Loved this book, especially since I started reading it in Oxford, MS during Books on the Nightstand's 2012 Booktopia, and we'd just toured Faulkner's home. Written by Faulkner's niece, the only living Faulkner (Dean died 3 months after publication), I loved that I recognized much of the Oxford she spoke of. I appreciate the honesty of this book, and am more and more intrigued with William Faulkner.
Kate Donnelly
A memoir by the niece of William Faulkner. Lots of new information for me. The first of Faulkner's books that I attempted to read was THE SOUND AND FURY. It was my first experience with 'stream of consciousness.' I was surprised at the number of Faulkner books that I have read.
The book was an easy read and quite interesting.
I very much enjoyed reading about Faulkner from his niece's point of view and learning a little more about my new hometown. I am more convinced than ever that Oxford's cultural reputation owes a great deal to Wm Faulkner.
Charming author and book. Who knew Faulkner read Dear Abby first thing every day ?
I loved this book !
Such a beautiful remembrance of an imperfect family ,which we all have .But this one was more famous than most.
The Faulkners had an interesting cast of characters , including murderers ,thieves, adulterers , racists ,sociopaths and real bad tempers ( author's words) ,but they also knew when to come together to support each other in time of need .
Dean Faulkner Well's uncle was William Faulkner . Her father was William's youngest brother, who was killed in his 20's in an airp
Oct 01, 2012 Rhonda added it
Having read most of Faulkner's fiction and the collection of his letters, I felt like I knew what he looked like from the inside, sorta, but always wondered how all that Southern pain/passion/ego looked from the outside. His niece is the perfect conduit for this information, and she's a delightful writer. Like her uncle, a great eye for detail. Faulkner's drinking binges are legendary, but I don't think we knew--even from Blotner--that the writer's favorite TV show was Car 54, Where Are You? No ...more
Sep 20, 2012 Abbe added it
Shelves: in-library

"Nobody could have written this book except Dean Faulkner Wells. It is not only charming, poignant and witty, it is a priceless contribution to America's rich literary history."Winston Groom, author, _Forrest Gump

_"Dean Faulkner Wells has written a memorable family story, full of the intimacies of place and cherished connections, that not incidentally sheds unexpected, humanizing light on her august uncle, William Faulkner."--Thomas McGuane

"A funny, extremely readable, incredibly lika

Lisa N
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Written by the niece of William Faulkner, this book provides her view inside the Faulkner family life in Oxford, Mississippi. Dean, the daughter of William's youngest brother (also named Dean), grew up with her "Pappy" serving as a father figure after her own father was killed (along with 3 young passengers) piloting a plane that crashed shortly before she was born.

While I enjoyed the stories and included photos, there was a sense of disarray to the order in which some of the information was pr
Now I want to read more Faulkner! :o) This book was written by his niece and paints a great picture of William Faulkner. It's definitely not an expose or anything, but it does address his most basic character flaws (alcoholism, adultery), so it's really not a fluff job of a book. I'd like to read a more comprehensive bio of the man now, as this book is from the perspective of a family member and maybe isn't as thoroughly researched and comprehensive as a full soup to nuts bio might be. Still, th ...more
Not being an English major, I did not know much about William Faulkner, Nobel Prize in Literature recipient; that was enough to prompt me to take a look at this memoir as the next in the series of my summer memoir readings. This memoir was written by Dean Faulkner Wells, niece of William Faulkner, who knew him endearingly as "Pappy". Her memoir was told with an incredible amount of detail from her incredible memory about all of the Faulkners, whether she personally knew them or not. This detail ...more
Terrific book written by William Faulkner's niece. Anyone who has ever enjoyed a Faulkner story or book will enjoy this unvarnished account of Faulkner's family, his roots, the character's who inspired much of his fiction. Love to find a new author and look forward to reading more of her books as well as Faulkner books referred to here that I haven't read.
This book is by William Faulkner's neice, the daughter of his youngest brother who died in an airplane crash before she was born. Faulkner stepped up and made sure that she was taken care of during her lifetime, although he could not protect her from her mother's sad choice of an abusive second husband. The memoir is not specifically of William, but there are some very sweet stories concerning him. When Dean once was at a reception getting tea, she was asked if she wanted lemon or sugar. Not hav ...more
Tom Buske
There was a lot of good stuff in this book about William Faulkner and his extended family as told by his niece. Some of it was draggy, which kept it from getting more stars. But it's well worth reading if you a fan of Faulkner's written works or enjoy a chronicle of small-town Southern life in the mid 20th century. Lots of amusing anecdotes.
Marie Castellano
As others have said, this is a story about the Faulkner family as told my William's niece. His niece was orphaned early on, so was raised by William Faulkner. It is an interesting tale but bogs down sometimes with unnecessary detail. This can (and does) occasionally overwhelm the reader.
If you love the old man's books, you'll love this peak behind the curtain of the family's life. Many of the characters seem to have come from real life. The stories of Black Cord Fever are enough to keep you going.
Rivki Silver
I read this several weeks ago, but forgot to review it at the time, so my recollection is, by now, slightly hazy.

However, I have a warm, fuzzy feeling about this book. As a lover of William Faulkner's works and all things Yoknapatawpha, I very much enjoyed reading about the Faulknes from the perspective of a Dean Faulkner Wells, who was a neice of the author. The book read like a combination of memoir and familial biography, and I found it enjoyable to read, though its charm lay much in the subj
A moving remembrance of a treasured uncle, Wells' memoir is a loving insight into the man who was one of the South's greatest writers. Mrs. Wells recounts the history of the various branches of the Faulkner family, with entertaining and little known stories about her relatives. But the main thrust of the book is her uncle William, who was a surrogate father to her. He paid for her education, gave her away when she married. Rowan Oak was a home away from home for the author, the memories of which ...more
Feb 11, 2013 Nan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoirs
I grew up in Oxford, attended picnics at Rowan Oak as a child and have vague memories of meeting Mr. Faulkner in the late 50's. My mother was acquainted with the author as well as Faulkner's daughters and remembers her as "very full of herself" (which upon reading this lovely memoir I understood a little better.) so discovering this book was a treat and reading it was a very personal experience. I remember the Oxford described by Wells vividly and found the book fascinating, touching and utterly ...more
I was very interested in this well written memoir because I'll be at Rowen Oak in a few weeks! It's the story of Dean Faulkner who was the niece of William and was raised and supported by him when her dad, William's brother (also named Dean), died in a plane crash just before she was born.

It shows so much of Oxford, Pappy's literary and family life, the Faulkner family, etc. that I know it will make the experience be much richer for reading it.

I also tried reading some more Faulkner, but found
Beth Stevens
I knew little about William Faulkner. This is an amazing look at his personal life, written by his niece whom he took responsibility for after her father, his brother, was killed in an airplane accident. There is little about his writing/books in this memoir - in fact when she was young she wasn't very aware of his literary recognition - he was just "Pappy" to her. Very personal, loving tribute to the father figure she loved so much. Unlike many biographies, this is not at all dry or facts-only ...more
Sandy Duke
A great glimpse into the Faulkner family.
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