Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title
For over forty years, John Hawkes created fictions remarkable for their stylistic beauty and narrative experimentation. His writing has been praised for its visionary engagement with memory and anxiety, violence and eroticism, desire and imagination. Yet there have been few critical studies of the work of this major contemporary author. Rita Ferrari's Innocence, Power, and the Novels of John Hawkes is an unprecedented exploration of Hawkes's sixteen novels and novellas.
As Ferrari discusses the subtle transformations that have occurred in each succeeding work of fiction, she traces Hawkes's experimentation with voice and perspective, his interrogation of authority and representation, and his exploration of language, gender, and identity. Her close readings offer fruitful and original analysis of the central and compelling paradoxes in Hawkes's fiction: how language both makes and unmakes the self, how this act of the imagination is at the same time affirming and deadly, and how, expressly, the act of authoring is both innocent and powerful.