James B. Hall

20th century American novelist and poet

Portrait of James B. HallJames B. Hall

James B. Hall

James Byron Hall (b. 1918) is an American novelist, short-story writer, and poet. He attended Miami University, the Univeristy of Hawaii and the University of Iowa. Hall has received many awards, including the Drue Heinze Prize and the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts poetry award in 1992.

cover image of the book Us He Devours

Us He Devours

These fourteen stories are the work of a writer whose exploitation of the language for artistic effect is extraordinary. The visionary, the poetic, the humorous and the surrealistic inform each story, and yet there is no terror merely without responsible intelligence. A maiden lady steals from a bank to buy gifts for a goat which appears at night outside her window; a young married couple “adjust” to our world of time payments and credit; a writer makes his living by selling parts of his own body to unsuspecting insurance companies; a “bandit” is obsessed by the contents of freezers, and steals to feed a river; a doctor takes his dying, extroverted old father away from the home place, and in the process sees the first intimations of his own death. We see the “have nots,” the middle class, artists and professors all caught in worlds they do not fully apprehend. Taken together these stories present a complex view of a hard world.

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