A.G. Harmon's A House All Stilled, which won the Peter Taylor prize for fiction, has just been published this month by the University of Tennessee Press. While Harmon is known to the Image readership for his frequent book reviews and his excellent interview with novelist Oscar Hijuelos (in issue #22), it is wonderful to see his first novel receive such a signal honor. Like the great Peter Taylor, Harmon is a Southern novelist whose prose is both precise and evocative, reflecting a deep relationship to the land and the mystery of familial relationships over several generations. But Harmon's novel also has religious and symbolic resonances that Flannery O'Connor would recognize and salute. The novelist Doris Betts, who selected this novel for the Taylor Prize, adds yet another literary comparison: "Harmon's style," she writes, "has deft flicks of description and insight, similar to the way Graham Greene might toss out a selected metaphor then move on." A House All Stilled is an auspicious debut for a major new talent in literary fiction.
"I've completed another novel, a kind of picaresque book called 'Exits in Hell,' which is in the process of being reviewed right now, and am working on another as-yet-untitled book, set in the South, about a guy with a box of pictures. I've also written a treatise on Shakespeare's use of the law in his dark comedies and am sending that out. Those are the things I'm devoting my time to at present, along with writing short stories, various scholarly works, and teaching."
A.G. Harmon was born in Houston, Mississippi, and grew up there and on his family's farm in Columbia, Tennessee. A nominee for the Pushcart Prize in the essay, he has received the 1994 Milton Center Postgraduate Writing Fellowship, a Thomas Williams Short Fiction Award, and was a 1998-1999 Richard Weaver Graduate Fellow. He has written numerous articles on Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, law and literature, and rhetoric. A regular contributor to Image, his publications include: "Ordered Chaos: Three Films by Paul Thomas Anderson" (#27); "Fiction at the End of the Century" (#22); the "Of Time and Form: The Art of William Christenberry," (#35) and various interviews and reviews. He has also published "The Case of Edith Stein" in the anthologyThings in Heaven and Earth (Paraclete), and "Lawful Deeds: The Entitlements of Marriage in Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well", in Logos. His novel, A House All Stilled, was awarded The Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel in 2002 and is published this month by the University of Tennessee Press. He teaches at The Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.