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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Author Barry Hannah RIP

I had the good fortune of meeting Barry Hannah a few times when he was teaching at Clemson University. I then managed to get a signed copy of his first novel Geronimo Rex, which he had just published. He was a Faulkner-styled Southern Gothic writer with quite a gift for short fiction. Geronimo Rex was a National Book Award nominee and William Faulkner Prize winner; his short fiction collections netted him the PEN/Malamud Award.

Here is an oft-quoted bit from the 1972 New York Times review of Geronimo Rex, the review written by writer Jim Harrison of Legends of the Fall fame. Harrison said that Hannah was a writer

“brilliantly drunk with words [who] could at gunpoint write a life story of a telephone pole.”

This quote was in each of several articles I read about Barry Hannah's death, including the excellent one in Vanity Fair. Hannah struggled with cancer and drinking, the former one finally winning.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger RIP

There is probably nothing written about J.D. Salinger the does not mention The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger has died at 91 of natural causes. His one book even gets top billing in this Washington Post obituary, entitled, 'Catcher' author J.D. Salinger dies.

Salinger has been in the news lately with his lawsuits to prevent the publication of a sequel to Catcher, and a biography. He also shunned some big-gun producers for movie rights to Catcher.

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