The spring issue of Oxford American is out now, sporting a Barry Hannah cover. In addition to a review of Hannah’s Long, Last, Happy: New and Collected Stories, the issue features eight pages of remembrances by Hannah’s students, fans, and friends (along with pictures, of course). In fact, John Oliver Hodges’s review of Long, Last, Happy is really a memoir itself. Here’s an anecdote he shares—
Barry called me his amanuensis, and as such I heard him talk a bit about his feelings on fathers and sons and beautiful women, heartache, football, stool softener, and Krystal hamburgers. On the day that Ole Miss beat Gainesville, 31-30, it happened that we were in Tuscaloosa. To celebrate the win, we drove around the town in his silver Chrysler, his pistol in its holster under the seat. He gave me the grand tour, and as I drove, I videotaped him talking beside me, drinking a Budweiser tallboy (a rare treat to lessen the abiding pain), and smoking a USA, his brand. As we approached the green shack by the tracks where he wrote Ray, he said, “It was probably the saddest time in my life.”
(Quick editorial note: I’m glad that Hannah and Hodges could celebrate Ole Miss’s narrow victory, but Tebow and the Gators did go on to win every other game of the season, including the SEC Championship and the BCS title bowl. So there).
In addition to the Hannah stuff, there’s a great essay on fried green tomatoes, a look at what it means to be a black Republican, an appreciation of Southern hip-hop, stories and poems, and a series of letters by Eudora Welty, including her hilarious application to The New Yorker. Good stuff.
While I’m shilling for Oxford American, I might as well point out that they’re hosting a Summit for Ambitious Writers this June. It’s on top of a freaking mountain! Biblioklept fave Wells Tower will be there. Sounds cool.