I didn’t get that much reading done at the beach. The only book I finished was Barry Hannah’s Airships. It wasn’t even on my beach reads list–ha. As I was walking out the door I saw it on the shelf, remembered I had indeed purchased it, and thought to myself that is what I need. I hadn’t read any of Hannah’s books before (hanging head in shame), and it was great. Each story was unique and haunting in it’s own way, with some absurdity thrown in for good measure. Funny stories, even if funny-sad, are hard to find. Two of my favorites from Airships are “Return to Return” and “Mother Rooney Unscrolls the Hurt.” Now I will have to get my hands on his first novel, Geronimo Rex.
Here you can listen to Don Swaim’s 1993 interview with Barry Hannah, Hannah reading stories at the 2001 Ohio University Literary Festival, and Hannah reading an essay titled “Why I Write.”
I read more of Winesburg, Ohio, but not all of it. And I have to say, that Anderson’s stories are great stories, but after Airships it felt slow. I still wanted to be swept away in the craziness that is Hannah. I started Invisible Cities and quickly decided it was not a beach book at all, and could not afford to be read while surrounded by large numbers of distractions: including but not limited to shuffleboard games, soccer games, swimming pool related galavanting, the ocean, bugs, sun, sweat, sand, children, passersby, and beer. It will have to wait for another day.