New Oxford American Issue Features Barry Hannah Tribute

From Press Release…LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 9, 2011) — The Oxford American includes a tribute to the acclaimed Mississippi writer Barry Hannah in its new issue, which is available now at bookstores and newsstands nationwide.

“Some of us who revere the writing of Barry Hannah had the good fortune to know, or at least encounter, him before he died on March 1, 2010,” said Marc Smirnoff, editor of The Oxford American. “Surreally, Barry could be just as fiercely eloquent and meaningful in person as he could be on the warpaths of his prose.”

The section about Hannah includes an essay by novelist John Hodges on his friendship and admiration for Hannah, as well as a chorus of anecdotes about “Barry in the World,” exploring the legacy of the “good Barry” and the “bad Barry” in the words of such writers as Donna Tartt, Jack Pendarvis, Rick Bass, and Humphreys McGee. “Barry drove to the woman’s house on his Harley-Davidson,” begins McGee, in one of many memorable reminiscences, “a pistol secreted in his jacket pocket….”

Other highlights in the new issue include:

  • Editor Marc Smirnoff goes nuts over the new True Grit—and recalls the time Barry Hannah gave him the finger.
  • Eudora Welty applies for a job at The New Yorker.
  • Jack Pendarvis puts his sausage fingers all over the set of HBO’s Treme.
  • Joshua Clark makes an epic journey through Faulkner family history.
  • A hunt to find the jive-talkin’ cross-dresser at the heart of the Southern hip-hop wars.
  • The rise of black Republicans in the age of Obama—a mother and daughter story.
  • A new, high-octane book section with reviews on Big Mike Huckabee, censored Huckleberry Finn, Mencken’s self-loathing, and war in Arkansas.

Select articles from the new issue are available free in their entirety at, where The OA also will post exclusive web content to complement the print edition.


The Oxford American is a national magazine that is dedicated to featuring the very best in Southern writing while documenting the complexity and vitality of the American South. Billed as “The Southern Magazine of Good Writing,” it has won two National Magazine Awards and other high honors since it began publication in 1992. The magazine has featured the original work of such literary powerhouses as Charles Portis, Roy Blount, Jr., ZZ Packer, Donald Harrington, Donna Tartt, Ernest J. Gaines, and many other distinguished authors, while also discovering and launching the most promising writers in the region. The magazine has also published previously unseen work by such Southern masters as William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Walker Percy, James Agee, Zora Neale Hurston, James Dickey, Carson McCullers, to name just a handful. The New York Times recently stated that The Oxford American “may be the liveliest literary magazine in America.”

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