Donald Harington (writer)
December 22, 1935|
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
|Died||November 7, 2009
Springdale, Arkansas, United States
|Alma mater||University of Arkansas
Donald Douglas Harington (December 22, 1935 – November 7, 2009) was an American author and visual artist. All but the first of his novels either take place in or have an important connection to "Stay More," a fictional Ozark Mountains town based somewhat on Drakes Creek, Arkansas, where Harington spent summers as a child.
Harington was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He lost nearly all of his hearing at age 12 due to meningitis. This did not prevent him from picking up and remembering the vocabulary and modes of expression among the Ozark denizens, nor in conducting his teaching career as an adult.
Though he intended to be a novelist from a very early age, his course of study and his teaching career were in art and art history. He taught art history in New York City, New England, and South Dakota before returning to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, his alma mater, where he taught for 22 years before his retirement on May 1, 2008.
Entertainment Weekly called him "America's greatest unknown writer." The novelist and critic Fred Chappell said of him "Donald Harington isn't an unknown writer. He's an undiscovered continent." Novelist James Sallis, writing in the Boston Globe: "Harington's books are of a piece -- the quirkiest, most original body of work in contemporary U.S. letters."
Harington died of pneumonia, after a long illness, in Springdale on November 7, 2009.
A 2013 biopic of Harington titled Stay More: The World of Donald Harington was created by filmmaker Brian Walter based upon interviews with Harington and his wife during 2006-2007, which was released in 2013 and is distributed by the University of Arkansas Press.[needs update]
- Enduring (2009)
- Farther Along (2008)
- The Pitcher Shower (2005)
- With (2004)
- Thirteen Albatrosses (or, Falling off the Mountain) (2002)
- When Angels Rest (1998)
- Butterfly Weed (1996)
- Ekaterina (1993)
- The Choiring of the Trees (1991)
- The Cockroaches of Stay More (1989)
- Let Us Build Us a City (1987)
- The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks (1975)
- Some Other Place. The Right Place. (1972), adapted into the film Return in 1985
- Lightning Bug (1970)
- The Cherry Pit (1965)
- On a Clear Day: The Paintings of George Dombek, 1975-1994 (1995)
- Let Us Build Us a City: Eleven Lost Towns (1986)
- Oxford American Lifetime Award for Contributions to Southern Literature, 2006
- Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction, 2003
- Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame, 1996
- Porter Prize for Literary Excellence, 1987
- "Obituary". Chicago Tribune. November 13, 2013.[dead link]
- Bartholomew, Dustin (June 27, 2013). "'Stay More' documentary on late author, UA professor Donald Harington in the works". Fayetteville Flyer. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- Author-endorsed Website (not currently maintained)
- Biography and interview by Edwin T. (Chip) Arnold
- Biographical article at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture
- "America's Undiscovered Continent" — article on his life and work
- "Wry Stories and Word Music" — article on themes, techniques, and cultural background
- "Donald Harington, Ozark Surrealist, Dies at 73"—NY Times obituary
- "Donald Harington obituary"—From the Guardian