Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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R.I.P. Barry Hannah*

The short story writer/novelist from Mississippi died today at 67. He was a friend. He loved dogs -- in 1997 he had five because he had adopted a pregnant dog from the pound: "She looked at me and said, 'I am in trouble.'" He had an open mind. He wrote incredible stories. In 1997, at the beginning of a semester at the Iowa Writers Workshop, where I was a student, he addressed a workshop: "I am Barry Hannah, and I don't know what to tell you. You read a lot of books, and then you write your own. I have read a hell of a lot." So, you could say, the workshop could have ended there. But it went on to be exceptional. He was one of those people who lacked a filter: They talk too much, they don't censor least not in time. He didn't want a filter either. Though as an original thinker he could have thought twice about that, and I am sure he did.

The Austin Chronicle published a very Barry profile about seven years ago. Caveat: Chicken Corner recommends the reader skip past the profiler's introductory prose to the quotes.

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