Between 1972 and 2001, Barry Hannah (1942-2010) published eight novels and four collections of short stories. A master of short fiction, Hannah is considered by many to be one of the most important writers of modern American literature. His writing is often praised more for its unflinching use of language, rich metaphors, and tragically damaged characters than for plot. "I am doomed to be a more lengthy fragmentist," he once claimed. "In my thoughts, I don't ever come on to plot in a straightforward way."
Conversations with Barry Hannah collects interviews published between 1980 and 2010. Within them Hannah engages interviewers in discussions on war and violence, masculinity, religious faith, abandoned and unfinished writing projects, the modern South and his time spent away from it, the South's obsession with defeat, the value of teaching writing, and post-Faulknerian literature. Despite his rejection of the label "southern writer," Hannah's work has often been compared to that of fellow Mississippian William Faulkner, particularly for each author's use of dark humor and the Southern Gothic tradition in their work. Notwithstanding these comparisons, Hannah's voice is distinctly and undeniably his own, a linguistic tour de force.
About the Author
James G. Thomas, Jr., Oxford, Mississippi, is associate director for publications at the University of Mississippi's Center for the Study of Southern Culture. He is an editor of the twenty-four-volume New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Series, and his work has appeared in Ethnic Heritage in Mississippi: The Twentieth Century, Southern Cultures, Southern Quarterly, Delta Magazine, and Living Blues.
Table of Contents
Barry Hannah John Griffin Jones / 1980 3
Barry Hannah Jan Gretlund / 1982 32
The Spirits Will Win Through: An Interview with Barry Hannah R. Van Arsdall / 1982 42
An Interview with Barry Hannah Larry McCaffery Sinda Gregory / 1987 67
Barry Hannah Interview Don Swaim / 1993 83
An Interview with Barry Hannah James D. Lilley Brian Oberkirch / 1996 96
A Conversation with Barry Hannah Rob Trucks / 1997 113
The Art of Being Interesting: An Interview with Barry Hannah Jamie S. Dycus / 1998 136
Interview with Barry Hannah Terry Gross / 2001 144
Interview with Barry Hannah: February 6, 2001 Daniel E. Williams / 2001 156
Interview with Barry Hannah, Athens, Ohio Thomas Ærvold Bjerre / 2001 164
An Interview with Barry Hannah Marc Smirnoff / 2001 174
Southern Destroyer Shawn Badgley / 2003 185
Interview with Barry Hannah: October 13, 2005 Daniel E. Williams / 2005 197
Crying Like a Fire in the Sun: A Conversation with Barry Hannah Andrew Brininstool / 2008 204
Bat Out of Hell: An Interview with Barry Hannah Louis Bourgeois / 2008 212
Barry Hannah: Interview, with Handgun Tom Franklin / 2009 218
Barry Hannah in Conversation with Wells Tower Welts Tower / 2010 225