Over the last several years of the life of Barry Hannah, indisputably one of the great writers of our time, the author tried to work on a novel as he also struggled with illness. At one point he realized that this work was molding to the form by which his career was largely characterized, the short story. By his death on March 1 of this year, he had completed four stories, which, combined with a choice sampling from his previous story collections, make up Long, Last, Happy: New and Selected Stories. Another largely unknown piece is a story Hannah wrote when he was around twenty years old, Trek, that, until now, has not appeared in book form. Published by Grove Atlantic, this volume becomes the essential Hannah story collection, with nine stories from Airships and the best from Captain Maximus, Bats Out of Hell, and High Lonesome, carefully selected by his editor at Grove, Amy Hundley. The book is dedicated to Barry and his late wife, Susan, and, by the care and quality of its issuance and its design, may be said to be a loving gift, from Morgan Entrekin and all the staff at Grove Atlantic in honor of the writer they so admired, to us, his devoted readers. Design motifs refer to Airships, with flying jets, a frequent Hannah thematic element, adorning the cream-colored cover with text in red and blue print and an iconic black-and-white photograph of the author. The navy endpapers are beautifully designed, and a couple of ink cartoons by the author appear as end matter lagniappe. With a back cover that carries eleven unassailable blurbs from Amy Hempel, Wells Tower, William Styron, Larry McMurtry, Cynthia Ozick, John Grisham, Sam Lipsyte, Philip Roth, Richard Ford, Charles Frazier, and Thomas McGuane, we happily believe that Long, Last, Happy is a book that will last a very long time. RH
Click here to purchase a copy of Long, Last, Happy: New and Selected Stories.