Thursday, March 4, 2010

Barry Hannah

Sigh. Sad to hear that writer Barry Hannah passed away on Monday, March 1. He was 67 and had been battling cancer for some years. Hannah's writing had such boisterous energy and manic spirit that it seems wrong for him not to have lived into an obstreperous old age. But there you go.

Hannah blasted out of the deep south with his first novel, “Geronimo Rex” in 1972, an incendiary coming-of-age tale replete with sex, violence, liquor, a perverted white supremacist, and a special kind of dark hopefulness that became his stock in trade. He wrote several more novels, but his unique way with words really shined in his short stories - wild and absurd tales of an American South full of passion, guns, confused war veterans, suspicious strangers, oddballs, outlaws and hair trigger good ol’ boys. He was one hell of a writer. The Rumpus has a sweet remembrance of the man, and the lit blog Tin House features an interview with Hannah from 2009 in which he discusses his illness and his as yet unpublished final book, The Sick Soldier At Your Door.

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