James Wilson Hall Biography


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

James Wilson Hall was born in 1947 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the son of a realtor. An avid, if indiscriminate, reader from an early age, Hall devoured everything from the Hardy Boys series to books by Ernest Hemingway. In high school he was an athlete, starring in basketball and tennis. During his senior year, he attended Riverside Military Academy, where he received an appointment to the Air Force Academy at graduation. He rejected the appointment to attend Florida Presbyterian University (later Eckard College), intending to become a minister, but later switched his major to literature. Hall, who as an undergraduate married his high school sweetheart, received a scholarship to the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference between his junior and senior years in college.

Hall worked at a variety of jobs to help pay for his college education, including landscaper, lifeguard, yacht washer, go-cart mechanic, and ranch hand. Following graduation, Hall attended Johns Hopkins University, receiving his masters of fine arts in 1969. He received a doctorate from the University of Utah in 1973. Hall landed a position as teacher of literature and creative writing at Florida International University in Miami, where he has remained ever since, and is now a tenured professor. Hall’s students have included such successful authors as Dennis Lehane, Barbara Parker, Vicki Hendricks, and Christine Kling.

Hall has contributed primarily poetry and occasional short stories...

(The entire section is 447 words.)