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Yonder Stands Your Orphan
Synopses & Reviews
Barry Hannah is widely considered one of the foremost torchbearers of contemporary Southern storytelling. He hates that. "No really good writer could be merely Southern," he insists. "A fiction writer isn't provincial, ever. He should be sending back news from the front, news somebody else might not know about, and it should be interesting and entertaining." He needn't worry. No one has ever called Barry Hannah provincial — and he's far more than interesting! Since his early work inspired Truman Capote to dub him "the maddest writer in the U.S.A.," Hannah has been known for his raw depictions of the interior lives of festering rural misfits, his ability to transfix readers with the simple audacity of his storytelling, and — last but not least — his raging, rhapsodic sentences. Yonder Stands Your Orphan, Hannah's first novel in ten years, is vintage Hannah, the work of a true master at the height of his powers. Indigent orphans, eccentric old-timers, pompous sheriffs, aging whores, and one very evil Conway Twitty look-alike, emerge from and collide in "the sizzling poetry of [Hannah's] every phrase and sentence." It's news from the front, and the war is getting interesting. Farely, Powells.com
Barry Hannah has been acclaimed by Larry McMurtry as "the best fiction writer to appear in the South since Flannery O'Connor." In his new novel, the first since 1991's Never Die, he again displays the master craftsmanship and wickedly brilliant storytelling that have earned him a deserved reputation as a modern master. In Yonder Stands Your Orphan, denizens of a lake community near Vicksburg are beset by madness, murder, and sin in the form of one Man Mortimer, a creature of the casinos who resembles dead country singer Conway Twitty. A killer who has turned mean and sick, he will visit upon this town a wreckage of biblical proportions. The young sheriff is confounded by Mortimer and distracted by his passion for a lovely seventy-two-year-old widow. Only Max Raymond, a weak Christian saxophonist, stands between Mortimer and his further depredations. But who will die, who will burn? Yonder Stands Your Orphan is a tour de force that confirms Barry Hannah's reputation as William Styron wrote in Salon "an original, and one of the most consistently exciting writers of the post-Faulkner generation."
"Hannah has in Yonder Stands Your Orphan stripped the Southern storybook back down to raw beams and flooring, then rebuilt the whole thing using twists of scene and execrated imagery that all but bypass the standard plot expectation, routing to the gut with the speed and efficiency that we ascribe to outlawed substances." Sven Birkets, Esquire (read Esquire's entire review)
"This is a wildly colorful, darkly comic, and ultimately sinister tale of madness and murder." Library Journal
"A long tear through the lives of a motley crew of misfits living around a giant lake in the backwoods of Mississippi. Hannah kicks it off on a raging blast of language and keeps winging higher and higher....Hannah shows quite authoritatively that he's still the master of his craft....A masterwork of southern beat terror gospel." Kirkus Reviews
In "Yonder Stands Your Orphan", denizens of a lake community near Vicksburg are beset by madness, murder, and sin in the form of one Man Mortimer, a creature of the casinos who resembles dead country singer Conway Twitty.
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