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

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  405 Ratings  ·  85 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
Apr 08, 2015 Jeanette rated it really liked it
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
Apr 20, 2012 Michele rated it liked it
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
Jo Ann
Jun 25, 2012 Jo Ann rated it really liked it
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
Aug 16, 2013 Kate Donnelly rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 25, 2013 Jeanne rated it really liked it
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.
Al Lloyd
Apr 23, 2011 Al Lloyd rated it really liked it
Charming author and book. Who knew Faulkner read Dear Abby first thing every day ?
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
May 16, 2011 Lisa N rated it really liked it
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Sandra Ross
Aug 29, 2014 Sandra Ross rated it it was amazing
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
May 19, 2015 Elizabeth rated it liked it
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
Jul 28, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it
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
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
Aug 21, 2012 Arlene rated it liked it
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
Feb 04, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
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
Rivki Silver
Jan 12, 2012 Rivki Silver rated it really liked it
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
Apr 12, 2012 Jana rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, southern
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
Jan 24, 2013 Nan rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 10, 2012 Courtney rated it really liked it
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
Jan 14, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 31, 2011 Julia rated it really liked it
What a wonderful book. This is a memoir of William Faulkner by his looving niece. Although she touches on some of his struggles, the book is mostly about the man who was a loving uncle. I particularlly enjoyed the humorous and ironic stories of the life of a man who is known as The Greatest American Author but was also a man who spent most of his life in a small town in Mississippi. Even if you can't remember much of your Faulkner, the look at life in the 30's and 40's would still make this book ...more
Beth Stevens
Feb 03, 2012 Beth Stevens rated it really liked it
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
Gina Arnone
Feb 28, 2013 Gina Arnone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
The woman who may have loved him most

I found this book extremely interesting. I realized after I finished it that it was possibly written not by the person who knew the author the best, but by the one who loved him the most in many ways. I think that love sometimes comes with a degree of distance, and this book definitely goes into proving that theory. I enjoyed reading the book, even if there were parts of it that made me a bit uncomfortable.
Gary Baughn
Nov 15, 2012 Gary Baughn rated it it was ok
Written by William Faulkner's niece, this is an affectionate look at the entire Faulkner family, including the famous author, who was instrumental in raising Dean after her father died piloting a stunt airplane. Made me want to go back and read Faulkner, and I started with The Sound and the Fury, which was a mistake, as it is (like the title now reminds me from Macbeth) a tale told by an idiot, which makes it very confusing.
But Every Day in the Sun is a nice read.
Dec 15, 2011 Carol rated it liked it
Although I did enjoy this memoir by Ms. Wells, which is filled with very interesting personal observations about my favorite author, William Faulkner,I found it to be a bit disjointed and rushed. Still, I would recommend it to Faulkner fans. Just go into it with an open and non-judgmental mind.

I was saddened to hear of Ms. Wells' passing last July (2011). I would've loved to have had her as a visiting author, just to meet her and hear her talk about Paddy.
Jul 17, 2011 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. This was a very close family. Faulkner took care of everyone in his family. He became a father to Dean. Now I want to read some books my Faulkner. Even though he had many demons, I really liked him. Loved the part when he rode a horse to Oxford. Hopefully we can go to Oxford again because I want to see the home. I finally understand why Ole Miss chose the Bear as their mascot.
Linda Griffin
Apr 01, 2012 Linda Griffin rated it did not like it
I was not impressed with the writer's style. This book was about William Faulkner and his life. I was not impressed with him. He was a heavy drinker and there were periods in his life when this interfered with his writing. He lied about his military service and claimed he was wounded in the war along with other exagerations. To his credit however, he supported many of hes family and raised his neice after his brother died. I did not like the family or the book.
May 29, 2014 Peg rated it it was amazing
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.
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