‘Wingwalkers,’ by Taylor Brown, is a fanciful take on William Faulkner

In 1934, William Faulkner — author of “The Sound and the Fury,” future winner of the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes and high-functioning alcoholic — hitched a motorcycle ride with two barnstormers, a man and a woman.

He showed up again, days later, considerably worse for wear.

This snippet from Joseph Blotner’s massive biography of Faulkner, provided the spark for Taylor Brown’s new novel “Wingwalkers,” a drama of seat-of-the-pants aviation during the Great Depression.

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Every other chapter fictionalizes the young Faulkner but hews closely to the facts.

Faulkner loved airplanes and was mad for flying. In early 1918, he enlisted in the newly formed British Royal Air Force and actually trained as a cadet in Canada. Most sources state that World War I ended before Faulkner could earn his wings, much less alone, but he showed up home in Oxford, Mississippi, in a sky-blue RAF uniform, carrying a cane, affecting a visible limp and dropping remarks about the supposedly silver plate in his skull.

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