I've long suspected that John Hawkes was a superb author, and now I've confirmed it by reading his novel Second Skin. I'm hoping to eventually do a post going into what I think makes this book so good, but I don't have the time right now.
Fortunately, Jim Shepard's appreciation of Hawkes from the book Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives has just been exerpted at The Rumpus. (And be sure to check the comments thread for an odd, somewhat spazzy comment by Rick Moody.)
These observations of Hawkes . . . continue reading, and add your comments
But he’s certainly an incredible talent. I first encountered Hawkes’ writing via the criticism of William H. Gass (in A Temple of Texts), who is a big fan. Now I’m about halfway through my first Hawkes book, Second Skin, and I can’t imagine it will be my last.
There are two things that are principally of interest right now. The first is Hawkes’ storytelling method. It’s a very fragmented narrative, although it doesn’t go so far as something like the French New Novel. I suppose a good reference would be the so-called novel-in-stories, except if . . . continue reading, and add your comments