John Hawkes (novelist)  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

John Hawkes, born John Clendennin Talbot Burne Hawkes, Jr. (August 17, 1925 – May 15, 1998), was a postmodern American novelist, known for the intensity of his work, which suspended the traditional constraints of the narrative.



Born in Stamford, Connecticut, and educated at Harvard University, Hawkes taught at Brown University for thirty years. Although he published his first novel, The Cannibal, in 1949, it was The Lime Twig (1961) that first won him acclaim. Thomas Pynchon is said to have admired the novel and thought Hawkes an unmatched stylist. His second novel, The Beetle Leg (1951), an intensely surrealistic western set in a Montana landscape that T. S. Eliot might have conjured, came to be viewed by many critics as one of the landmark novels of 20th century American literature.
Hawkes died in Providence, Rhode Island.


  • "For me, everything depends on language."
  • "I began to write fiction on the assumption that the true enemies of the novel were plot, character, setting and theme, and having once abandoned these familiar ways of thinking about fiction, totality of vision or structure was really all that remained."
  • "Like the poem, the experimental fiction is an exclamation of psychic materials which come to the writer all readily distorted, prefigured in that inner schism between the rational and the absurd."
  • "Everything I have written comes out of nightmare, out of the nightmare of war, I think."
  • "The writer should always serve as his own angleworm —and the sharper the barb with which he fishes himself out of blackness, the better."


Awards and Award Nominations


  • Ferrari, Rita. Innocence, Power, and the Novels of John Hawkes. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996.
  • Hryciw-Wing, Carol A. John Hawkes : a research guide. New York : Garland Pub., 1986
  • Hryciw-Wing, Carol A. John Hawkes : an annotated bibliography /with four introductions by John Hawkes. Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1977

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "John Hawkes (novelist)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools