John Hawkes (novelist)
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
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."
- Charivari (1949)
- The Cannibal (1949)
- The Beetle Leg (1951)
- The Goose on the Grave (1954)
- The Owl (1954)
- The Lime Twig (1961)
- Second Skin (1964)
- The Innocent Party (plays) (1966)
- Lunar Landscapes (short stories) (1969)
- The Blood Oranges (1970)
- Death, Sleep, and the Traveler (1974)
- Travesty (1976)
- The Passion Artist (1979)
- Virginie Her Two Lives (1982)
- Humors of Blood & Skin: a John Hawkes reader (1984)
- Adventures in the Alaskan Skin Trade (1985)
- Innocence in extremis (1985)
- Whistlejacket (1988)
- Sweet William (1993)
- The Frog (1996)
- An Irish Eye (1997)
Awards and Award Nominations
- 1962 - American Academy of Arts and Letters Academy Award.
- 1965 - National Book Award nomination for Second Skin
- 1973 - Prix du Meilleur livre étranger for The Blood Oranges
- 1986 - Prix Médicis étranger for Adventures in the Alaskan Skin Trade
- 1990 - Lannan Literary Award.
- 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