Yonder Stands Your Orphan by Barry Hannah

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Barry Hannah has long been considered one of the country's best living writers, whose singular voice and wicked genius for storytelling have earned him legions of diehard fans. His first novel in ten years, Yonder Stands Your Orphan opens with the establishment of an orphans' camp and the discovery of an abandoned car with two skeletons in the trunk. Man Mortimer, a pimp and casino pretty boy who resembles dead country singer Conway Twitty, has just been betrayed, and his revenge becomes a madness that will ravage the Mississippi community of Eagle Lake and give vent to his lifelong fascination with knives. The pompous young sheriff is useless at solving the crimes, so Mortimer's only challengers are three eccentric Christians -- a disgraced doctor and two ex-bikers, all prey to their addictions -- and an African-American Vietnam veteran whose wife is ill with cancer. Mortimer has a hold on each one of them -- a long-standing debt, a forgotten crime, or responsibilities they cannot yet desert. Yonder Stands Your Orphan paints a searing picture of the American South and establishes Barry Hannah once again as one of the most important writers in America.

About Barry Hannah

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Barry Hannah was born in Meridian, Mississippi on April 23, 1942. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Mississippi College in Clinton in 1964 and a master of arts in creative writing from the University of Arkansas. He taught writing at the University of Mississippi for over 25 years. He also worked as writer in residence at the University of Iowa, the University of Montana-Missoula and Middlebury College in Vermont. During his lifetime he wrote eight novels and five short story collections including Airships (1978), Ray (1980), Never Die (1991), Bats Out of Hell (1993), High Lonesome (1996), and Yonder Stands Your Orphan (2001). His first novel, Geronimo Rex, was published in 1972 and received the William Faulkner prize for writing. In 2003, he was given the PEN/Malamud Award. He died of natural causes on March 1, 2010 at the age of 67.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 336 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Yonder Stands Your Orphan

Kirkus Reviews

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The first outing in a decade from the great southern roustabout (Never Die, 1991, etc.) goes on a long tear through the lives of a motley crew of misfits living around a giant lake in the backwoods of Mississippi.

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The New York Times

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Here is Dee after spotting a man she's sweet on: ''She walked in a trance most of the day.'' The paragraph could have ended there, but Hannah chooses to continue: ''Cautious, polite, gone milky and holy in the head, abstracted into kindness.'' Later he describes Mortimer reflecting on his place i...

Aug 05 2001 | Read Full Review of Yonder Stands Your Orphan

Book Reporter

The only individuals in Mortimer's way are a crazed, vaguely religious saxophonist, an ex-biker turned preacher, a Vietnam veteran whose wife is slowly but inexorably dying of cancer, and an alcoholic lay preacher.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Yonder Stands Your Orphan

London Review of Books

Mortimer starts to take an interest in cutting people when he finds out that his sort-of girlfriend, Dee Allison – a single mother, nurse and ‘nun of apathy’ – has been unfaithful to him.

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Austin Chronicle

The "clean, hard images" Barry Hannah says he admires in the work of such authors as Ernest Hemingway are, oddly enough, rare sightings in his own, depending on your interpretation of "clean" and "hard."

Aug 17 2001 | Read Full Review of Yonder Stands Your Orphan

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