“Nothing could prepare you for this man.”

Bats Out of Hell by Barry Hannah (Houghton Mifflin/Seymour Lawrence, 1993)


My first author reading to ever experience was at Lemuria Bookstore and with Barry Hannah. I mean, holy shit. Nothing could prepare you for this man. Wild-eyed and intense with a violent honesty about life and death and everything between. After reading from a story in the collection about a group of old men talking of life and death and loneliness at the end of a pier, he signed books. My turn in line came with apprehension about meeting him, and I overcompensated my nerves by talking too much, too fast, and mentioning for whatever reason that I missed my dog like the broken down character in his story. He just looked at me for my entire rant with a smirk, inscribed my book and passed it back to me. It was only later that peered into the book to see what he had written. Years ago, I was embarrassed by how ridiculous I acted. Now, I laugh with him while remembering the moment.

Submitted by: Tim


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