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Riding Around with Barry Hannah: Long Last Happy

Barry Hannah was anything but in-between. He was obsessed with the best and the worst of both his region and country. He was such a remarkable and original voice, that he is often dubbed, “the second king of Mississippi literature.” His posthumous collection, Long, Last, Happy: New and Collected Stories is called a “defiant and wholly original valediction.”

John Oliver Hodges writes:

Long, Last, Happy is populated with many wives and motorcycles, for wives and motorcycles do have a few joyous points in common, and Mr. Hannah was all about joy. Yet if happiness is the flip side of hell, the two poles mixed with him. He was the least lukewarm dude you were likely to meet.”

Michael Schaub writes:

“Barry Hannah was a lit firecracker in a whiskey bottle, and no one who’s ever experienced his work can forget it. I was 16 when I first read Airships, Hannah’s debut short story collection. It was like hearing Bob Dylan for the first time, if Dylan had been an unrestrained, funny as hell, bourbon-soaked Southerner. And while I’d read my Faulkner and grew up two states away from Hannah’s beloved Mississippi, I’d never realized Southern literature — any literature — could do this before. If Barry Hannah’s fiction didn’t change my life, exactly, it made it more fun — and probably saved me from an intolerable teenage Sartre and Camus phase.”

A few years before he died. Video taken by John Oliver Hodges.

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