Now considered a contemporary classic, Airships was honored by Esquire magazine with the Arnold Gingrich Short Fiction Award. The twenty stories in this collection are a fresh, exuberant celebration of the new American South — a land of high school band contests, where good old boys from Vicksurg are reunited in Vietnam and petty nostalgia and the constant pain of disappoi...more
Barry Hannah - photo of the writer from the glorious state of Mississippi
Quote from “Escape to Newark” my favorite in the collection: "Once he prayed the Lord to shorten his member and turn his testicles to ash. He viewed her as a sort of rabid hippopotamus cornering him in one bad dream after another. And she smoked five packs a day, often as not an ember between her lips as she rutted above him, spitting out fire all over him on the arrival of her moment. The last horror was when s ...more
"What do you think?"
"I don't know... smudges? The vagueness of all things?"
"They aren't things. They're emotions."
"You mean hate, fear, desire, envy?"
"Yes. And triumph and despair." She pointed.
"This is subtle. They look the same," Levaster said.
"I know. I'm a nihilist."
"You aren't any such thing."
"Oh? Why not?"
"Because you've combed your hair. You wanted me to come in here and discover that you're a nihilist," Levaster said.
"Nihilists can come their hair." She bit her ...more
In this collection of 20 stories there are certainly pieces centered around mid-to-late century marginalized members of southern society; there's also a handful of fantastic works employing the American Civil War as the setting ...more
Boy oh boy, there are a lot of wonderful books out there. Did you guys know this? It's true! I picked up Airships out of that same strange magnetic pull which makes you feel compelled to engage a stranger in conversation in a bar or on a sidewalk for reasons not explained by physical attraction. And to be honest, I don't find this book's cover particularly appealing, and the gr blurb about it leaves a number of somethings to be d ...more
The thing is, a lot of it works; a brace of stories that are sublime hold promise early out. Unfortunately, there are more stories that don’t (and a few that rankle). When Hannah has ...more
A lot of praise gets sung for “Testimony of Pilot,” and rightfully so, but the simple “Water Liars,” the mad and sweet “Love Too Long,” the Vietnam Catch-22 “Midnight And I’m Not Famous Yet,” and the delightfully slow-revealing horror of “Eating Wife and Friends”— more Walking Dead than Walking Dead, more The Road than The Road, and so funny ...more
I would recommend:
"Love Too Long"
"Testimony of Pilot": intriguing and original, and you'll never forget Arden Quadberry.
"Return to Return": an odd account of jealousy, I suppose; good psychological read.
"Our Secret Home"
I would say "Constant Pain in Tuscaloosa" and "Mother Rooney Unscro ...more
While I did love the fact that the stories jumped from Civil War soldier tales to something futuristic to something out of the sixties to something that could be happening at a house on my street (HEAVEN FORBID), it was difficult for me ...more
The longer stories were the most impressive ("Testimony of ...more
I may be biased in my love for this book, since it is a book filled with Southern narrators and I am still preoccupied with all that because I am new to it. Really, tho, these are psychotic narrators and the South is the perfect setting for insanity. Insanity is my biggest fear and so I am living ...more
Also, FYI, Hannah is the patron poet saint of what he would call the female "organ." His medium is not exactly the ode; something slightly more dirty ...more