Hoar, Jere R. 1929–

views updated

Hoar, Jere R. 1929–

(Jere Hoar, Jere Richmond Hoar)

PERSONAL: Born October 23, 1929, in Dyersburg, TN; son of Eldon Jesse (an editor and publisher) and Lula Mae (a homemaker; maiden name, Zimmerman) Hoar; married Betty Jane Smith, 1954 (divorced, 1977); children: Lu Ann Smith, Thomas Jonathan, Benjamin Jere. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Auburn University, B.S., 1951; attended Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University), 1952; University of Mississippi, M.A., 1954; University of Iowa, Ph.D., 1960. Politics: Independent Republican. Religion: United Methodist.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—71 CR 215, Oxford, MS 38655. Agent—c/o Author Mail, University Press of Mississippi, 3825 Ridgewood Rd., Jackson, MS 39211-6492. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer, educator, novelist, and attorney. Troy (AL) Messenger, reporter, 1947–49; Oxford (MS) Eagle, news editor, 1953–54; Journal of Southern Commerce, news editor, 1953–54; Iowa Pub. Magazine, editor, 1954–56; University of Mississippi, Jackson, assistant professor, 1956–59, associate professor, 1959–67, professor of journalism, 1967–86, professor emeritus, 1986–. Freeland & Gafford Law Office, Oxford, MS, preceptorship in law, 1966–67, and 1969–71; admitted to the bar of Mississippi, 1971; lawyer in private practice, 1971–. Military service: U.S. Air Force, aviation cadet, 1951–53.

MEMBER: Mississippi Bar Association, Society of Journalists, Kappa Tau Alpha.

AWARDS, HONORS: International Literary competition, Writers Unlimited, first place winner, 1973; Teacher of the Year Award, University of Mississippi, 1974; Fulbright fellow, Costa Rica, 1979; Kansas Arts Council/KQ Award, 1989–90; Ione Burden Novel Award, Deep South Writers Competition, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1994; Silver Em Award in Journalism, 1995; Pirate's Alley Faulkner Prize; Jere Hoar Scholarship established at University of Mississippi College of Journalism.


Body Parts (fiction), University Press of Mississippi (Jackson, MS), 1997.

The Hit, Context Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Also author of television scripts. Contributor to anthologies, including Reb Fiction '90 and Editor's Choice III. Contributor of more than seventy short stories and articles to magazines and periodicals, including Southern Review and Descant.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Genealogical research; a novel, Levitations.

SIDELIGHTS: Journalist, educator, novelist, attorney, and short-story writer Jere R. Hoar is a retired professor at the University of Mississippi, where he spent thirty-six years as a journalism and writing instructor. He started his career during the Depression, working as a writer and editor on publications his father owned. He learned journalism during the days of letterpress printers, linotype machines, and hot lead type. "Growing up that way, I have a strong affinity for old methods, and the feeling that was engendered in independent newspapers in those days," Hoar remarked in an interview posted on the Southern Scribe Web site.

Hoar's collection Body Parts gathers eleven short stories written over a span of sixty years, from the late 1930s to the late 1990s. Couched in the southern writing style that often includes brushes with the bizarre, the stories often invite comparison to Flannery O'Connor's style of southern grotesque. In "Tell Me It Hasn't Come to This," a widow spends her time waving at passing traffic, hoping that car trouble might bring a stranger by for a visit. "The Incredible Little Louisiana Chicken Killer" resonates with the atmosphere of a folk tale, when a mismatched older man and his younger bride catch an evil little man-demon invading their poultry coop and killing their chickens. "Unifying the collection are its inventive and abruptly vivid sentences and a comic recklessness of the imagination," observed Tom Drury in the New York Times Book Review. Hoar "is a consistently keen observer, gifted at finding the sensory fragments necessary to a moment," Drury noted. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that "this atmospheric, often very funny collection is a welcome introduction to an already accomplished writer."

The Hit is Hoar's "crackling debut" as a novelist, commented a reviewer in Publishers Weekly. Vietnam veteran Luke Carr is sick of the world and lives an outdoorsman's lifestyle in rural Mississippi. He is also a college graduate who values his literacy almost as much as his privacy. While plotting an art heist from wealthy local businessman Tom Morris, Carr is called upon to help find a boy who got lost in the woods. To his surprise, Carr discovers that the boy's mother is Kinnerly Morris, a girlfriend from many years before. She is also the wife of Tom Morris. The two resume their affair, and soon Kinnerly convinces Carr that Morris is mistreating her and must be killed. The murder leads to an escalating series of blackmail, betrayals, and more murders, "Surprises lurk around the corner as the lovers plot their getaway," noted the Publishers Weekly reviewer. "Written corset-tight and laced with fierce wit, The Hit spotlights a writer who possesses prose skills that can make grown men weep," observed reviewer Mark Luce in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. USA Today reviewer Dennis Moore concluded that The Hit is "a work of singular achievement from a lone, keen voice."



Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 2, 2003, Mark Luce, "Books: Reading the Future: Books and Authors on the Edge: A Question of Trust, Unresolved Love, and Murder," review of The Hit, p. E7.

Booklist, February 15, 2003, Frank Sennett, review of The Hit, p. 1054.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2003, review of The Hit, p. 105.

Library Journal, April 15, 2003, Jim Coan, review of The Hit, p. 123.

New York Times, May 4, 2003, Dante Ramos, review of The Hit, p. 24.

New York Times Book Review, January 25, 1998, Tom Drury, "Hamlets," review of Body Parts, p. 26.

Publishers Weekly, September 22, 1997, review of Body Parts, p. 69; February 17, 2003, review of The Hit, p. 56.

USA Today, April 16, 2003, Bob Minzesheimer, "Late-Blooming Hoar Has 'Hit' on His Hands," profile of Jere Hoar; April 16, 2003, Dennis Moore, "The Hit: A Dead-on Tale of Murder," review of The Hit.


Mississippi Writers Page Web site, http://www.olemiss.edu/mwp/ (February 6, 2006), biography of Jere R. Hoar.

Southern Scribe Web site, http://www.southernscribe.com/ (January 10, 2006), Robert L. Hall, interview with Jere R. Hoar; Robert L. Hall, review of The Hit.

Starkville High School Web site, http://shs.starkville.k12.ms.us/ (February 6, 2006), Luke Campbell, biography of Jere R. Hoar; Luke Campbell, review of The Hit; Kimberly Lehman, interview with Jere R. Hoar; Kimberly Lehman, review of Body Parts.

University Press of Mississippi Web site, http://www.upress.state.ms.us/ (January 10, 2006), profile of Jere R. Hoar.