Barry Hannah Passed Away Today

Barry Hannah Passed Away TodayOne of our living greats, Barry Hannah, passed away this afternoon of natural causes. He was turning 68 next month and died a few days before this year’s Oxford Conference for the Book, which was dedicated to his work.

When I first started writing for The Faster Times I had the idea of posting passages of my favorite authors now and then for inspiration. My very first post in that series was Barry Hannah. Hannah’s eight novels and four story collections are easily, in my opinion, amongst the greatest work in modern American fiction. His fifth collection, Sick Soldier at Your Door, is forthcoming later this year. If you have not experienced his rollicking, glorious prose, that is a problem I would urge you to remedy. The novella Ray and the collection Airships are great starting points. I’ll leave you with the sample I quoted in that early TFT post, from the story “Ride, Fly, Penetrate, Loiter” in Captain Maximus:

I was among the dwarves over in Alabama at the school, where almost everybody dies early. There is a poison in Tuscaloosa that draws souls towards the low middle. Hardly anybody has honest work. Queers full of backbiting and rumors set the tone. Nobody has ever missed a meal. Everybody has about exactly enough courage to jaywalk or cheat a wife or friend with a quote from Nietzsche on his lips.

Here is a great profile on Barry Hannah from 2008 by none other than Wells Tower: Barry Hannah’s Long Shadow.

Lincoln Michel keeps a personal blog at and tweets @TheLincoln. His work appears or is forthcoming in Tin House, Oxford American, The Believer, NOON, Bookforum, and elsewhere. He is more


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