The Vietnam War in Short Fiction Criticism: Barry Hannah: Airships (1978) - Essay

Mark J. Charney (essay date 1992)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Charney, Mark J. “‘Crucified by Truth’: Narrative Voices in Airships.” In Barry Hannah, pp. 21-41. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992.

[In the following essay, Charney classifies the stories in Barry Hannah's Airships as works about the literal and figurative battlefields of the Civil and Vietnam wars.]

In “Water Liars,” the first story in Hannah's collection Airships (1978), the narrator and his wife share stories of past sexual liaisons during a drunken, late-night truth session: “I had a mildly exciting and usual history, and she had about the same, which surprised me. For ten years she'd sworn I was the first. I could not...

(The entire section is 9751 words.)

Owen W. Gilman, Jr. (essay date 1992)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Gilman, Jr., Owen W. “Regenerative Violence; or, Grab Your Saber, Ray.” In Vietnam and the Southern Imagination, pp. 77-93. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1992.

[In the following excerpt, Gilman underscores the significant role of violence in Barry Hannah's fiction and surveys his Vietnam War short stories from a Southern perspective.]

In an early overview of Hannah's fiction, Donald R. Noble noted in “‘Tragic and Meaningful to an Insane Degree’: Barry Hannah” [Southern Literary Journal 15, no. 1 (fall 1982)] that “Hannah's violence is a subject sure to get much attention in the future” (40); more recently, Allen Shepherd's...

(The entire section is 2761 words.)

Ruth D. Weston (essay date spring 1995)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Weston, Ruth D. “Debunking the Unitary Self and Story in the War Stories of Barry Hannah.” Southern Literary Journal 27, no. 2 (spring 1995): 96-106.

[In the following essay, Weston suggests that Barry Hannah's Vietnam stories attempt to make sense out of the violence of the Vietnam era, and views his stories within the context of Southern history and literature.]

In a new book on storytellers of the Vietnam generation, David Wyatt argues that literary generations are defined by, among other things, “the impact of a traumatic historical incident or episode … [which] creates the sense of a rupture in time and gathers those who confront it into a shared...

(The entire section is 4816 words.)