1 April 2011

Oxford American #72

The latest issue of Oxford American has just arrived, and shows the writer Barry Hannah (1942-2010), who died last March, on the cover.  It contains several pages of tributes, and an article on him by John Oliver Hodges. He was born in Meridian, Mississippi, and died in Oxford MS, where he had taught Creative Writing at Ole Miss for 28 years. Hodges took a drive around Tuscaloosa AL with Hannah a few years ago, and I'd already seen the 10-minute video of it, which is hereAn example of Hannah's writing is this short story 'The Spy of Loog Root', published in Oxford American in 1992. This is his obituary in The Guardian, although far more interesting is this article in The New York Observer.

Also in this season's issue is an article about someone unfamiliar to me: Judy Bonds, a coal miner's daughter from Whitesville, West Virginia who died in the New Year, and was a staunch campaigner against mountaintop removal.
Another thing that initially catches my eye (apart from a few pages of correspondence between Eudora Welty and William Maxwell)  is the editor Mark Smirnoff  saying 'the book and first movie handled the material with more wisdom and art' of the Coens' True Grit re-make. Maybe I was right not to go and see it then, although I'll no doubt catch it when it comes to DVD.  And while on the subject, this February Will Self wrote a revisionist take on the Coens.

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