To the Editors:
Having written a critical introduction to the fiction of John Hawkes, I was interested to discover that I am a member of a “club” of Hawkes’s supporters whose main intention in life is to inflate the fraudulent reputation of this contemporary American novelist. At least that appears to be the opinion of your reviewer, Bruce Bawer, in his shredding of a new Hawkes anthology (Humours of Blood and Skin; New Criterion, December, 1984)—a man who seems to conceive of his task as not discussing the work under review, but as attacking those who might perceive its merits. Of course, the real attack is on John Hawkes, not his critics, but Mr. Bawer seems to prefer the back door to the front, so that he spends a good deal of time and inches ripping critical statements out of context in hopes of proving that there is some kind of conspiracy amongst “us” to promote John Hawkes. But then again, Mr. Bawer apparently...

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