Brian Hall biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Brian Hall
Photo: Madeleine Moss

Brian Hall

Brian Hall Biography

Brian Hall is the author of three novels: The Saskiad (1997), I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company (2003), his acclaimed story of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Fall of Frost (2008), about the life of Robert Frost; as well as three works of nonfiction.

His journalism has appeared in publications such as Time, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives in Ithaca, New York.



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Interview

Brian Hall discusses his novel, Fall of Frost, and how he approached the process of writing a novel about a famous historical figure - Robert Frost.

Brian Hall discusses his novel Fall of Frost

Your relationship with the figure of Robert Frost is one of deep attachment mixed with some ambivalence. Can you talk about what first drew you to Frost? What specifically appealed to you about his poetry?

I've always preferred poetry that has a good deal of surface lucidity. It's hard to write poetry of this variety that feels weighty as well as good, because it's really the thought that counts; that, and a good ear. You can't hide behind an elaborate form or allusive obscurity. Perhaps this sort of poetry appeals to me because it's closest to being a purified and heightened form of what I strive to create in my prose: concision, wit, insight, close listening, and an awareness of the multiple meanings of every word you use. Frost was fantastically good at hearing how common words fight with each other and with themselves, tugging in several directions toward different goals. He also was blessed (in his art, anyway) with an uncommonly large store of "negative capability," which happens to be the attribute of artists that I most admire.

I was drawn to write about Frost when I came across a brief mention of his trip to the U.S.S.R. to meet with Khrushchev. I hadn't ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Brian Hall at BookBrowse
Fall of Frost jacket I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Brian Hall but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Peter Ackroyd

    Peter Ackroyd

    Novelist, biographer, and poet Peter Ackroyd was born in London on October 5, 1949.

    He graduated from Clare College, Cambridge, and studied at Yale University as a Mellon Fellow, where he completed Notes for a New Culture: ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Fall of Frost

    Try:
    The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein
    by Peter Ackroyd

  • Sonny Brewer

    Sonny Brewer

    Sonny Brewer is the author of the novels, The Poet of Tolstoy Park, A Sound Like Thunder, Cormac - The Tale of a Dog Gone Missing, and The Widow and the Tree. Brewer also edited the anthology series Stories from the Blue Moon... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Fall of Frost

    Try:
    The Poet of Tolstoy Park
    by Sonny Brewer

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View all 10 Readalikes

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Book Discussion
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