Howard Barry Hannah was an American novelist and short story writer from Mississippi. Hannah was born in Meridian, Mississippi, on April 23, 1942, and grew up in Clinton, Mississippi. He wrote eight novels and five short story collections.
His first novel, Geronimo Rex, was nominated for the National Book Award. Airships, his 1978 collection of short stories about the Vietnam War, the American Civil War, and the modern South, won the Arnold Gingrich Short Fiction Award. The following year, Hannah received the prestigious Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Hannah won a Guggenheim, the Robert Penn Warren Lifetime Achievement Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the art of the short story.
He was awarded the Fiction Prize of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters twice and received Mississippi's prestigious Governor's Award in 1989 for distinguished representation of the state of Mississippi in artistic and cultural matters. For a brief time Hannah lived in Los Angeles and worked as a writer for the film director Robert Altman. He was director of the MFA program at the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, where he taught creative writing for 28 years. He died on March 1, 2010, of a heart attack.