Author Barry Hannah has died. He was 67-years-old.
His career began with Geronimo Rex in 1972, a William Faulkner Prize-winning and National Book Award-nominated novel. In 1978 he wrote the classic book of short stories, Airships. He wrote eight more novels, receiving a Guggenheim, the Robert Penn Warren Lifetime Achievement Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award. This week the 17th Oxford Conference for the Book will celebrate his life’s work.
In an intimate Paris Review interview in 2004, Hannah reflected on his early days as a writer: “Instead of going to sleep I would hit the typewriter and sometimes write until four and teach my classes very haggardly. But I was often taught that everything is worth it for art. Everything. It was a cult. I remember Bill Harrison saying, ‘Don’t play with your child that much.’ In other words, don’t be that good of a father. Get to that book. The ideal was Flaubert, who labored seven years on Madame Bovary and sweated out every word, le mot juste, the right word.”