‘Coming Close To Donna’ by Barry Hannah

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Coming Close To Donna by Barry Hannah, 1977 Read the rest of this entry »


‘Even Greenland’ by Barry Hannah

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Even Greenland by Barry Hannah, 1985 Read the rest of this entry »


‘Trek’ by Barry Hannah

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Trek by Barry Hannah, 1964 Read the rest of this entry »


‘Water Liars’ by Barry Hannah

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Water Liars by Barry Hannah, 1978 Read the rest of this entry »


July 2014 favorites

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July 2014

The July stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

1.       ‘Hot Ice’ by Stuart Dybek
2.       ‘The Babysitter’ by Robert Coover
3.       ‘Jeeves And The Impending Doom’ by P.G. Wodehouse
4.       ‘A Solo Song: For Doc’ by James Alan McPherson
5.       ‘City Boy’ by Leonard Michaels
6.       ‘You’re Ugly, Too’ by Lorrie Moore
7.       ‘The Flats Road’ by Alice Munro
8.       ‘Greasy Lake’ by T. Coraghessan Boyle
9.       ‘Train’ by Joy Williams
10.     ‘Testimony Of Pilot’ by Barry Hannah
11.     ‘The Joy Luck Club’ by Amy Tan
12.    ‘Liars In Love’ by Richard Yates
13.     ‘How To Date A Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, Or Halfie)’ by Junot Diaz
14.    ‘A Poetics For Bullies’ by Stanley Elkin
15.     ‘Greenwich Time’ by Ann Beattie
16.     ‘Pretty Ice’ by Mary Robison
17.     ‘Lechery’ by Jayne Anne Phillips
18.     ‘Here Come The Maples’ by John Updike
19.     ‘Territory’ by David Leavitt
20.     ‘Bridging’ by Max Apple
21.     ‘The Circling Hand’ by Jamaica Kincaid
22.     ‘Are These Actual Miles?’ by Raymond Carver
23.     ‘The Other Wife’ by Colette
24.     ‘A.V. Laider’ by Max Beerbohm
25.     ‘White Rat’ by Gayl Jones
26.     ‘Search Through The Streets Of The City’ by Irwin Shaw
27.     ‘The Dead Man’ by Horacio Quiroga
28.     ‘A Life In The Day Of A Writer’ by Tess Slesinger
29.     ‘In The Heart Of The Heart Of The Country’ by William Gass
30.     ‘The Indian Uprising’ by Donald Barthelme
31.     ‘The Facts Of Life’ by Somerset Maugham


‘Testimony Of Pilot’ by Barry Hannah

hannah, barry 1978

Testimony Of Pilot by Barry Hannah, 1978

The magic trick:

The hardness and distance in the narrators tone contrasted with moments of sweetness

Generally speaking, the narrator of this story comes off as a fairly tough customer. He often is egotistical about his success as a lover and his abilities as a drummer. He withholds regret, even as he reports the dastardly deed of hitting Quadberry in the eye with the battery early in the story. The whole tone is distanced.

All of that makes the few moments of sweetness the narrator does allow that much more powerful. Through this contrast, the reader is able to understand just how important Quadberry was to this man. The story’s last sentence – one such moment of sweetness – just floors me. And that’s quite a trick on Hannah’s part.

The selection:

Lillian asked me what she was supposed to do now. I told her she was supposed to come with me to my apartment in the old 1920 Clinton place where I was. I was supposed to take care of her. Quadberry had said so. His six-year-old directive was still working.