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Novelist Barry Hannah dies at 67

JACKSON, Miss. - Author Barry Hannah, whose fiction was laced with humor and populated by hard-drinking Southerners, died Monday at his home in Oxford, Miss. He was 67.

Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy said Hannah died Monday afternoon of natural causes.

Hannah's first novel, "Geronimo Rex," was published in 1972. It received the William Faulkner prize for writing and was nominated for a National Book Award. His 1996 short story collection, "High Lonesome," was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Novelist and Mississippi native Richard Ford called Hannah "a shooting star." "Barry could somehow make the English sentence generous and unpredictable, yet still make wonderful sense, which for readers is thrilling," Ford said from his home in Maine.

Hannah was born and raised in Mississippi. He graduated in 1964 from Mississippi College in Clinton and later earned a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Arkansas.

He taught writing at the University of Mississippi for more than 25 years. In 1996, Hannah told the student newspaper at the University of Mississippi that teaching inspired him.

"The short fiction form that I teach is a great format for fine classroom conversation about the art," Hannah said. "My writing has always been enhanced by my teaching."

In 2003, Hannah was given the PEN/Malamud Award, which recognizes excellence in the art of short fiction. - AP

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