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Home:  >Browse Listings   >Authors   >Hoar, Jere
Jere Hoar
Jere Hoar

Jere Hoar

Body Parts, the critically acclaimed debut short story collection by Jere Hoar, appeared in 1997, but the writer is hardly new to the craft of writing. On the contrary, Hoar has written and taught journalism for more than three decades, worked part-time in communications law, written three television scripts for public broadcasting, and published more than 40 scholarly and other magazine articles, six monographs, a textbook chapter, and dozens of short stories, several of which have been anthologized.

Hoar got his start in journalism early. Born October 23, 1929, in Dyersburg, Tennessee, his primary and secondary education took place in the public schools of nine states, most of them southern, but in his own words, he “grew up” in the newspaper business. His father was an editor/publisher.

Beginning in high school, Hoar worked as a reporter, news editor, or editor for two weekly newspapers, a small daily, and two trade publications. He earned a degree at Auburn, served in the Air Force during the Korean War period, then earned graduate degrees at Ole Miss and the University of Iowa. In 1956 he joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi, where he taught journalism full-time for 30 years, receiving the university’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1974. From 1986 to 1992 he taught part-time at the university, and during the summers of 1988 and 1990 he taught writing for CCSB, an educational consortium, at King’s College in London, England.

Hoar “read law” in the offices of Freeland & Gafford in Oxford and passed the state bar exam in 1971. Of 338 persons to enter the Mississippi Preceptorship Program in law during its 22-year existence, Hoar was one of 16 to be admitted to the bar.

Among other honors, his fiction won the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner Prize (co-winner), the Deep South Writers Conference Competition, and the Kansas Arts Council/KQ Award.

Hoar’s debut short story collection, Body Parts, was a notable book of the year selection by three publications: the New York Times, Booklist (the journal of the American Library Association), and Bookman News. Praising its distinctive qualities, range, and humor, critics noted resemblances in Hoar’s fiction to that of writers as diverse as Erskine Caldwell, Flannery O’Connor, Barry Hannah, and William Faulkner — the latter two of whom, like Hoar, live (or lived, in Faulkner’s case) in Oxford.

“In 11 stories, the writer ranges across seven decades and three or four modes of storytelling to present a rough survey of the mythology and manners of the 20th-century South,” Tom Drury wrote in the New York Times Book Review. He noted the collection’s “inventive and abruptly vivid sentences and a comic recklessness of imagination,” and said Hoar is a “consistently keen observer, gifted at finding the sensory fragments necessary to a moment.”

In New York Newsday, Bill Vourvoulias said of Hoar’s literary voice, “It can pop chill bumps on your neck.”

In 2003, Hoar published his first novel, The Hit.

(Article first posted August 1999)

Related Links & Info


 

Publications

Fiction:

  • Body Parts. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997.
  • The Hit. Context Books, 2003.

Bibliography:

Reviews and Criticism:

  • Drury, Tom. Review of Body Parts. New York Times Book Review (25 January 1998).

Internet Resources

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