“A shooting star . . . Barry could somehow make the English sentence generous and unpredictable, yet still make wonderful sense, which for readers is thrilling . . . You never knew the source of the next word. But he seemed to command the short story form and the novel form and make those forms up newly for himself.”
–Richard Ford

“The characters who saunter and stumble and soliloquize through his heavily autobiographical fiction seem to have no home: they are drunk at the controls of a jet or bargaining with God atop a horse or roaring down the road in a Lincoln with beer cans rattling around the floorboard . . . . They wrestle heroically, but not successfully, with their lust. They get bored and turn to whisky or hashish or guns. Sometimes they just wander out in the morning streets playing a French horn and wearing an Indian headdress . . . . Barry Hannah [is] the Deep South’s answer to Charles Bukowski and the man whom Truman Capote once called `the maddest writer in the U.S.A. . . . With his last two [books] . . . he seems to have worked himself back to the searing, jump-cut electricity of his earlier work.”
–Randy Kennedy, The New York Times

“Barry Hannah is the best fiction writer to appear in the South since Flannery O’Connor.”
–Larry McMurtry

“One of those young writers who is brilliantly drunk with words and could at gunpoint write the life story of a telephone pole.”
–Jim Harrison

“I discovered him through Airships, in law school, back when I wasn’t thinking about being a writer. He was always looking for the next outrageous character, outrageous scene, and he was never satisfied with the mundane, even stylistically. He was just fearless. There are very few people who can put together sentences and words like Barry Hannah.”
–John Grisham

“Barry was, and will always be, essential – as a writer and as a man with an exquisite, deep soul. His death is a world-changing loss for so many of us.”
–Amy Hempel

“Barry Hannah takes fiction by surprise
–scenes, shocks, sounds, and amazements: an explosive but meticulous originality.”
–Cynthia Ozick

Barry could capture in a sentence all the beauty of the language, along with hilarity and tragedy and everything in between.”
–Gary Fisketjon

“If [Harry] Crews is the pugilistic Hemingway of grit lit, then Mississippi native Barry Hannah is the stylistic James Joyce. Hannah’s work shares the same rough-and-tumble content found in Crews, but the writing itself is often more experimental and complex.”
–David Hellman, Library Journal

“Listen to this voice for a few pages and you know you have never heard anything like it. This in itself means nothing much; the random squawks of the mad may be each alone unique. What matters is that this strange new voice gives an illusion of the familiar, that such dislocated objects and people as Hannah assembles give an illusion of the world’s customary deployments.”
–Geoffrey Wolff, New Times

“When style gets so loud we can hear it, we have a `voice’ like Hannah’s. His is a rare and marvelous gift.”
–Michael Malone, The Nation

“Barry Hannah is arguably the wildest, truest, and most original comic writer to come out of the South in the past twenty-five years.”
–Mark Bautz, The Washington Times

“Hannah’s distinctive voice, his firm grasp of narrative style, make him among the best practitioners of the short story form in America today. . . .He comes up with stinging fresh images, lines so pungent they sent out shock waves.”
Publishers Weekly

“He was, sentence for sentence, among the most powerful, innovative and – this is important – fun writers of the present era.”
–Justin Taylor, author of Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever, in Paper Cuts (NYT Books Blog)


Winner of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts & Letters
Winner of the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction