RIP Barry Hannah, Southern Writer Extraodinaire

I just recieved the sad news that Oxford, MS, writer Barry Hannah died yesterday of a heart attack. Doubly sad is that he was to be the honoree of this year’s Oxford Conference of the Book, held this coming weekend. On the other hand, it will be a celebration of his life, with those prepared best to do that.

From the above link:

Barry was one of the reasons my Hon and I moved to Mississippi in 1988, on the impetus of his writing, and that he was teaching at Ole Miss. He was a part of the wonderful small pond of nightlife there, and there are so many good memories of being out and about with Barry holding court through it all.

A nice NY Times blog piece, with a link to the author’s article.

Barry was one of what was thought of as the Manly Crew of Southern Writers: Harry, Barry, Larry, and Tim (Crews, Hannah, Brown, and Mc Laurin), who all wrote rather dark muscular male tales, deeply rooted in their Southern history, and admired and supported one another in their little enclave of genre. Harry is the only one left now. And, I’da thought he would be the first one to go onyond…

I don’t recall Barry’s work ever coming up here, but, all y’all should read him. He was the real deal. Trying to find some good exemplary words, but my hands are shakin’.

“The point is to strip down, get protestant, then even more naked. Walk over scorched bricks to find your own soul. Your heart a searching dog in the rubble.”
— Barry Hannah

RIP,Captain Maximus

I hope it’s not too bad form to bump my own thread, sans replies, but, Barry Hannah was a fine writer who deserves recognition. Since I last posted, a nice tribute was on the NY Times Blog, as well as the NYTimes obit.

My impetus is to get a fine writer read by an audience above par (that’s y’all), and, as the above blog piece says: " For many writers, especially those in midcareer or of midrange repute, death is the best (and last) great sales push they ever get."

Read Barry Hannah, especially if you’re into Southern writing; thus telling a tale with all attention to the beauty of a well-turned phrase burdgeoning into beguiling sentence, then off and running…ah, shit, I suck at this---- here’s Jim Harrison from the NY times obit:

Reviewing the book(Geronimo Rex) for The New York Times, the novelist Jim Harrison called Mr. Hannah “one of those young writers who is brilliantly drunk with words and could at gunpoint write the life story of a telephone pole.”


He was also a great teacher, committed to getting young writers to find their voice.

Fade to Black

Well, I like Faulkner, Gay and Percy. I’m from Mississippi. I have spring break next week.

Hit me with a suggestion.