Character in Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha saga, first appears as a Harvard graduate and young district attorney in Light in August. As Uncle Gavin, a county attorney in Intruder in the Dust, he is persuaded by his nephew Chick Mallison to defend Lucas Beauchamp against the murder charge of which he is innocent. Gavin solves various crimes in Knight's Gambit, and in Requiem for a Nun he defends Nancy Mannigoe and takes Temple Drake to confess to the governor. In The Town he fights the rising power of the Snopeses while falling in love with Eula Varner Snopes, who tries to have him wed her daughter Linda. In The Mansion he continues his idealistic and “meddlesome” ways but he marries Melisandre Backus Harris, a widow.
Gowan Stevens, Gavin's nephew, in Sanctuary is the man whose drunken actions lead to Temple Drake being seized by bootleggers. In Requiem for a Nun he has atoned by marrying Temple. In The Town Gowan is called Gavin's cousin and is the source of much of the novel's lore.