July 1, 1920|
San Diego, California
|Died||May 12, 2008
Nevada City, California
|Notable award(s)||Lifetime achievement awards from PEN American Center and the Cowboy Hall of Fame|
|Children||Oakley "Tad" Hall III, Sands Hall|
Oakley Maxwell Hall (July 1, 1920 – May 12, 2008) was an American novelist. He was born in San Diego, California, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and served in the Marines during World War II. Some of his mysteries were published under the pen names "O.M. Hall" and "Jason Manor." Hall received his Master of Fine Arts in English from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.
His books focus primarily on the historical American West. His most famous book, Warlock, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1958. The film adaptation of the same title was directed by Edward Dmytryk. In Thomas Pynchon's introduction to Richard Fariña's Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, Pynchon stated that he and Fariña started a "micro-cult" around Warlock. Another novel, The Downhill Racers was made into a film starring Robert Redford in 1969.
After the death of Wallace Stegner, Hall was considered the dean of West Coast writers, having supported the early careers of California novelists such as Richard Ford and Michael Chabon, both graduates of the well-known writing program at the University of California, Irvine where Hall taught for many years, and Amy Tan, his student from The Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Hall's colleagues at Irvine included Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and fellow Iowa graduate Charles Wright and poet and Victorian Scholar Robert Peters. San Diego—and Hall's one-time San Diego neighborhood of Mission Hills—serve as focal points of two novels: "Corpus of Joe Bailey" and his 2007 novel "Love & War in California."
Oakley Hall was married to Barbara Edinger Hall, a professional photographer, in 1944, and they were married for 64 years. They had four children, Brett Hall Jones, director of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the writers’ conference that Oakley Hall helped found in 1969; Sands Hall, an accomplished teacher and novelist (Catching Heaven, 2000, and Tools of the Writer’s Craft, 2005); Tracy, a school teacher; and Oakley Hall III, known as “Tad,” a son and the author of the play, Grinder’s Stand, whose tragic fall from a bridge and the brain damage suffered from this fall are documented in the film The Loss of Nameless Things (filmmaker Bill Rose).
Hall died May 12, 2008, in Nevada City, California. Among his many honors are lifetime achievement awards from the PEN American Center and the Cowboy Hall of Fame. He was also the father of the playwright Oakley "Tad" Hall III  and writer, actor and director Sands Hall.
Legends West series
- Warlock (1958)
- The Bad Lands (1978)
- Apaches (1986)
Ambrose Bierce series
- Ambrose Bierce and the Queen of Spades (1998)
- Ambrose Bierce and the Death of Kings (2001)
- Ambrose Bierce and the One-Eyed Jacks (2003)
- Ambrose Bierce and the Trey of Pearls (2004)
- Ambrose Bierce and the Ace of Shoots (2005)
- Murder City (1949)
- So Many Doors (1950)
- Corpus of Joe Bailey (1953)
- Mardios Beach (1955)
- The Pleasure Garden (1966)
- The Downhill Racers (1963)
- A Game for Eagles (1970)
- The Adelita (1975)
- Lullaby (1982)
- The Children of the Sun (1983)
- The Coming of the Kid (1985)
- Separations (1997)
- Love and War in California (2007)
- The Art and Craft of Novel Writing (1995)
- How Fiction Works (2000)
- Carlson, Michael (2008-06-18). "Oakley Hall: Obituaries: guardian.co.uk". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
- Grimes, William (2008-05-16). "Oakley Hall, 87, Novelist Attuned to the Old West, Is Dead". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
- New York Review of Books - Oakley Hall