Hawley, Noah 1967(?)-
HAWLEY, Noah 1967(?)-
PERSONAL: Born c. 1967.
CAREER: Novelist, filmmaker, photographer, and screenwriter. Director of short films for Fox Searchlight.
A Conspiracy of Tall Men, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 1998.
Other People's Weddings, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Writer of television scripts, short films, and full-length screenplays, including The Alibi, 2004, The Yes Man, and the screenplay adaptation of his novel A Conspiracy of Tall Men. Contributor to periodicals, including Paris Review.
SIDELIGHTS: Noah Hawley has written for televison and film, and has also authored the novels A Conspiracy of Tall Men and Other People's Weddings. According to Los Angeles Times Book Review contributor Margo Kaufman, A Conspiracy of Tall Men "has a clever premise, a cast of singular kooks, and almost hypnotic nervous energy."
The novel's protagonist, Linus Owen, is a professor at a small college in California, where he teaches courses on conspiracy theory and counts among his friends a number of "paranoid intellectuals." He and his wife, Claudia, an advertising executive, live in a home overlooking San Francisco Bay. Claudia leaves on a trip to visit her mother, but soon two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are at the door telling Linus his wife perished in a plane that crashed in Rio and that the event had been caused by a terrorist bomb. Linus, already distrustful of the government, calls together other conspiracy theorists to find the truth: whether Claudia's ticket was in fact paid for by a lover with whom she was making the trip and whether she is, in fact, dead. In investigating the crash of Flight 613, their trail leads them to, among others, a pharmaceutical company, a radical radio talk-show host, the Central Intelligence Agency, and Linus's brother. Soon the group are embroiled in terrorism, cold fusion, computer hacking, a mind-control drug, and government kidnapping and murder. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called A Conspiracy of Tall Men a "suspenseful, cerebral satire," while a Kirkus Reviews contributor dubbed it "a debut thriller with storytelling grip."
Hawley's second novel, Other People's Weddings, is the story of Laurie, a photographer has shot a thousand weddings who over ten years. She wonders how well these marriages have held up and, to find out, she offers to photograph the couples in their homes free of charge. She discovers that many are still happily married, but others who take her up on her offer are now divorced. In going through the wedding photos, Laurie discovers that one man, Gilligan Ford, III, has crashed eleven of the last twelve events. When she approaches him at his next "appearance," they have dinner at the aquarium where he is an accountant, and she discovers that he is a widower.
Speaking with San Francisco Chronicle interviewer Heidi Benson, Hawley said that he "set out to write the anti-romantic comedy—which doesn't mean the book isn't funny, but it's also dark. You don't freeze the moment when you say 'I do,' but love stories always end with the wedding. Maybe that's why there's so much divorce, because there's no role model for how you continue after that new-car smell is gone."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 1998, review of A Conspiracy of Tall Men, p. 844; April 15, 2004, review of Other People's Weddings, p. 349.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, October 4, 1998, Margo Kaufman, review of A Conspiracy of Tall Men, p. 2.
New York Times Book Review, August 23, 1998, Emily Barton, review of A Conspiracy of Tall Men, p. 16.
Publishers Weekly, May 18, 1998, review of AConspiracy of Tall Men, pp. 67-68.
San Francisco Chronicle, May 9, 2004, Heidi Benson, interview with Hawley and review of Other People's Weddings, p. M2.
Noah Hawley Web site,http://www.26keys.com (January 12, 2005).*