20th century American novelist
John Hawkes (1925-1998) was a postmodern novelist born in Stamford, Connecticut and educated at Harvard University. For years, Hawkes taught at Brown University and gained notoriety with his novel The Lime Twig (1961), which was admired by Thomas Pynchon. Hawkes was noted for his unconventional style and views on the creation of literature.
“No synopsis conveys the quality of this now famous novel about an hallucinated Germany in collapse after World War II. John Hawkes, in his search for a means to transcend outworn modes of fictional realism, has discovered a highly original technique for objectifying the perennial degradation of mankind within a context of fantasy… Nowhere has the nightmare of human terror and the deracinated sensibility been more concisely analyzed than in The Cannibal. Yet one is aware throughout that such analysis proceeds only in terms of a resolutely committed humanism.