Jim Harrison Books In Order

Detective Sunderson Books In Publication Order

  1. Great Leader (2011)
  2. The Big Seven (2015)

Dalva Books In Publication Order

  1. Dalva (1988)
  2. The Road Home (1998)

True North Books In Publication Order

  1. True North (2004)
  2. Returning to Earth (2007)

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. Wolf (1971)
  2. Good Day to Die (1973)
  3. Farmer (1976)
  4. Legends of the Fall (1979)
  5. Warlock (1982)
  6. Sundog (1984)
  7. The Boy Who Ran to the Woods (2000)
  8. The English Major (2008)

Short Stories/Novellas In Publication Order

  1. The Woman Lit by Fireflies (1990)
  2. Julip (1994)
  3. The Beast God Forgot to Invent (2000)
  4. The Summer He Didn’t Die (2005)
  5. The Farmer’s Daughter (2009)
  6. The River Swimmer (2013)
  7. Brown Dog (2013)
  8. The Ancient Minstrel (2016)

Poetry Books In Publication Order

  1. Natural World (0)
  2. Plain Song (1965)
  3. Locations (1968)
  4. Outlyer and Ghazals (1971)
  5. Letters to Yesenin (1973)
  6. Selected & New Poems, 1961-1981 (1982)
  7. The Theory and Practice of Rivers and New Poems (1990)
  8. After Ikkyu and Other Poems (1996)
  9. The Shape of the Journey (1998)
  10. Braided Creek (2003)
  11. Saving Daylight (2006)
  12. In Search of Small Gods (2009)
  13. Songs of Unreason (2011)
  14. Dead Man’s Float (2015)
  15. Jim Harrison: The Essential Poems (2019)
  16. Jim Harrison: Collected Ghazals (2020)

Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order

  1. Just Before Dark (1993)
  2. The Raw and the Cooked (2001)
  3. Conversations with Jim Harrison (2002)
  4. Off to the Side (2002)
  5. The Etiquette of Freedom (2010)
  6. A Really Big Lunch (2017)

Anthologies In Publication Order

  1. Wild Stories (2002)

Detective Sunderson Book Covers

Dalva Book Covers

True North Book Covers

Standalone Novels Book Covers

Short Stories/Novellas Book Covers

Poetry Book Covers

Non-Fiction Book Covers

Anthologies Book Covers

Jim Harrison Books Overview

Great Leader

Author Jim Harrison has won international acclaim for his masterful body of work, including Returning to Earth, Legends of the Fall and over thirty books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In his most original work to date, Harrison delivers an enthralling, witty and expertly crafted novel following one man’s hunt for an elusive cult leader, dubbed The Great Leader. On the verge of retirement, Detective Sunderson begins to investigate a hedonistic cult, which has set up camp near his home in Michigan s Upper Peninsula. At first, the self declared Great Leader seems merely a harmless oddball, but as Sunderson and his sixteen year old sidekick dig deeper, they find him more intelligent and sinister than they realized. Recently divorced and frequently pickled in alcohol, Sunderson tracks his quarry from the woods of Michigan to a town in Arizona, filled with criminal border crossers, and on to Nebraska, where the Great Leader s most recent recruits have gathered to glorify his questionable religion. But Sunderson s demons are also in pursuit of him. Rich with character and humor, The Great Leader is at once a gripping excursion through America s landscapes and the poignant story of a man grappling with age, lost love and his own darker nature.


From her home on the California coast, Dalva hears the broad silence of the Nebraska prairie where she was born and longs for the son she gave up for adoption years before. Beautiful, fearless, tormented, at forty five she has lived a life of lovers and adventures. Now, Dalva begins a journey that will take her back to the bosom of her family, to the half Sioux lover of her youth, and to a pioneering great grandfather whose journals recount the bloody annihilation of the Plains Indians. On the way, she discovers a story that stretches from East to West, from the Civil War to Wounded Knee and Vietnam and finds the balm to heal her wild and wounded soul.

The Road Home

This is the story of Jim Harrison’s captivating hero*ine, Dalva, and her peculiar and remarkable family. It encompas*ses the voices of Dalva’s grandfather, John Northridge, the austere half Sioux patriarch; Naomi, the widow of his favourite son and namesake; Paul, the first Northridge son, who lived in the shadow of his brother; and Nelse, the son taken from Dalva at birth who has now returned to find her. It is a family history drenched in suffering and joy, imbued with fierce independence and love, rooted in the Nebraska soil, and intertwined with the destiny of whites and Native Americans in the American West. Epic in scope, stretching from the close of the nineteenth century to the present day, ‘The Road Home‘ is a stunning and trenchant novel written with humour, humanity, and an inimitable evocation of the American spirit. ‘One of the greatest modern storytellers in American literature at the peak of his formidable form in this epic, multi generational saga, both prequel and sequel to his earlier Dalva. The century spanning story of the Northridge family, set in the startling wilds of Nebraska, is full of wonderful writing and characters whose lives become part of the fabric of your own. Unforgettable.’ ‘The Sunday Times’.

True North

An epic tale that pits a son against the legacy of his family’s desecration of the earth, and his own father’s more personal violations, Jim Harrison’s True North is a beautiful and moving novel that speaks to the territory in our hearts that calls us back to our roots. The scion of a family of wealthy timber barons, David Burkett has grown up with a father who is a malevolent force and a mother made vague and numb by alcohol and pills. He and his sister Cynthia, a firecracker who scandalizes the family at fourteen by taking up with the son of their Finnish Native American gardener, are mostly left to make their own way. As David comes to adulthood often guided and enlightened by the unforgettable, intractable, courageous women he loves he realizes he must come to terms with his forefathers’ rapacious destruction of the woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as well as the working people who made their wealth possible. Jim Harrison has given us a family tragedy of betrayal, amends, and justice for the worst sins. True North is a bravura performance from one of our finest writers, accomplished with deep humanity, humor, and redemptive soul.

Returning to Earth

In the universally praised Returning to Earth, Jim Harrison has delivered a masterpiece a tender, profound, and magnificent novel about life, death, and the possibility of finding redemption in unlikely places. Donald is a middle aged Chippewa Finnish man slowly dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. His condition deteriorating, he realizes no one will be able to pass on to his children their family history once he is gone. He begins dictating to his wife, Cynthia, stories he has never shared with anyone as around him, his family struggles to lay him to rest with the same dignity with which he has lived. Over the course of the year following Donald s death, his daughter begins studying Chippewa ideas of death for clues about her father s religion, while Cynthia, bereft of the family she created to escape the malevolent influence of her own father, finds that redeeming the past is not a lost cause. Returning to Earth is a deeply moving book about origins and endings, making sense of loss, and living with honor for the dead. It is among the finest novels of Harrison s long, storied career, and confirms his standing as one of the most important American writers now working.


Having abandoned Manhattan after too many heatless apartments, nameless women, and drunken nights, Swanson now finds himself back in the wilderness of northern Michigan. Roaming the woods in the hope that he might catch a glimpse of one of the rare wild wolves that prowl the territory, Swanson pauses often for retrospection, recalling his many wild evenings prowling across the United States. Wolf, Harrison’s first work of fiction, is a boisterous, eloquent meditation on youth, nature, America, poetry, and what it means to live with an open though often wounded heart.

Good Day to Die

Their plans were conceived in a drunken excitement and resulted in more horror than any of them could have imagined. There was the poet able to retreat into beatific reveries of superb fishing in cold, fast streams; the Vietnam vet consumed by uppers, downers and violence; and the girl who loved only one of them at first. With their ideals ostensibly in order, they set out from Florida to save the Grand Canyon from a dam they believed was being built. Along with the tapedeck for the car, the liquor and the drugs, there was also a case of dynamite.

Legends of the Fall

The publication of this magnificent trilogy of short novels Legends of the Fall, Revenge, and The Man Who Gave Up His Name confirmed Jim Harrison’s reputation as one of the finest American writers of his generation. These absorbing novellas explore the theme of revenge and the actions to which people resort when their lives or goals are threatened, adding up to an extraordinary vision of the twentieth century man.


John Lundgren, a.k.a. Warlock, is an unemployment foundation executive whose life is about to become unhinged. After surviving a midlife crisis, Warlock finally decides to get a job. He soon discovers, however, that his new boss, Dr. Rabun, is no less evil to Professor Moriarty. Hired to troubleshoot for the doctor, Warlock himself battling poachers in the haunted wilderness of northern Michigan while also spying on his employer’s wife and son in the seamy underside of Key West. A comedy with one foot in the abyss, Warlock is the singular literary entertainment from an American master.


In the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Robert Corvus Strang is crawling through the woods. A beautiful Costa Rican woman is dancing in a string bikini, and a dissipated writer is trying to stay on his feet…
. All three have retreated to this isolated land where Strang, builder of dams and bridges, preacher of gospels, lover of women, explorer of limits, launches into the story of his monumental life. In a novel that stretches from Michigan to Africa and the Amazon, Strang leads his listeners across rivers of time, through the nature of innocence, politics and desire, to a final and stunning defiance of life’s frailty.

The Boy Who Ran to the Woods

Jim Harrison is best known for his novels that speak wisdom and illuminate the soul. He now turns his hand to a child’s tale, The Boy Who Ran to the Woods. Exquisitely illustrated by Tom Pohrt, The Boy Who Ran to the Woods recounts a childhood tragedy that ends in redemption. Harrison tells a personal story of little Jimmy, a boy who injures his eye and must learn life’s meanings through adversity. It is this painful experience that leads to little Jimmy’s discovery of nature animals, birds, and woods and ultimately to his ability to overcome intense suffering. Beautifully written with Harrison’s quintessential style of writing about the natural world, combined with the unique illustrations of Tom Pohrt, The Boy Who Ran to the Woods promises to delight children of all ages and will appeal to all the devoted fans of Harrison’s literature and poetry as well.

The English Major

It used to be Cliff and Vivian and now it isn t. With these words, Jim Harrison begins a riotous, moving novel that sends a sixty something man, divorced and robbed of his farm by a late blooming real estate shark of an ex wife, on a road trip across America. Cliff is armed with a childhood puzzle of the United States and a mission to rename all the states and state birds, the latter of which have been unjustly saddled with white men’s banal monikers up until now. His adventures take him through a whirlwind affair with a former student from his high school teacher days twenty some years before, to a snake farm in Arizona owned by an old classmate, and to the high octane existence of his son, a big time movie producer who has just bought an apartment over the Presidio in San Francisco. Now in paperback, Jim Harrison s riotous and moving cross country novel,The English Major, is the map of a man s journey into, and out of, himself. It is vintage Harrison reflective, big picture American, and replete with wicked wit.

The Woman Lit by Fireflies

Jim Harrison has garnered critical acclaim for masterpieces such as Legends of the Fall, The Beast God Forgot to Invent, and, most recently, Returning to Earth. Now, The Woman Lit by Fireflies, one of his best loved books, is available as a Grove paperback. Across the odd contours of the American landscape, people are searching for the things that aren t irretrievably lost, for the incandescent beneath the ordinary. An ex Bible student with raucously asocial tendencies rescues the preserved body of an Indian chief from the frigid depths of Lake Superior in a caper that nets a wildly unexpected bounty. A band of sixties radicals, now approaching middle age, reunite to free an old comrade from a Mexican jail. A fifty year old suburban housewife flees quietly from her abusive businessman husband at a highway rest stop, climbs a fence, and explores the bittersweet pageant of the preceding years within the sanctuary of an Iowa cornfield. The Woman Lit by Fireflies is the work of a classic writer at the very top of his form a hard living, hard writing hero of American letters whose novellas comprise a sweeping tribute to the nation’s heartland and the colorful, courageous characters who inhabit it.


In three novellas, Jim Harrison takes us on an American journey as he leads us through the wondrous landscape of the human heart. ‘Julip‘ follows a bright and resourceful young woman as she tries to spring her brother from a Florida jail he shot three of her former lovers ‘below the belt.’ ‘The Seven Ounce Man’ continues the picaresque adventures of Brown Dog, a Michigan scoundrel who loves to eat, drink, and chase women, all while sailing along in the bottom 10 percent. ‘The Beige Dolorosa’ is the haunting tale of an academic who, recovering from the repercussions of a sexual harassment scandal, turns to the natural world for solace. In each of these stories, the irresistible pull of nature becomes a magnificent backdrop for exploring the toughest questions about life and love.

The Beast God Forgot to Invent

Jim Harrison is an American master. The Beast God Forgot to Inventoffers stories of culture and wildness, of men and beasts and where they overlap. A wealthy man retired to the Michigan woods narrates the tale of a younger man decivilized by brain damage. A Michigan Indian wanders Los Angeles, hobnobbing with starlets and screenwriters while he tracks an ersatz Native American activist who stole his bearskin. An aging ‘alpha canine,’ the author of three dozen throwaway biographies, eats dinner with the ex wife of his overheated youth, and must confront the man he used to be.

The Summer He Didn’t Die

Jim Harrison is one of our finest writers, whose robust, tender, and deeply felt fictions like Dalva, Legends of the Fall, The Road Home, and his most recent novel, the widely acclaimed True North have made their mark on the contemporary American literary landscape. Now he delivers a collection of three novellas infused with all the wisdom and generous spirit that have made him one of our masters. In the title novella, ‘The Summer He Didn’t Die,’ Brown Dog, a hapless Michigan Indian loved by Harrison’s readers, is trying to parent his two stepchildren and take care of his family’s health on meager resources. ‘Republican Wives’ is a riotous satire on the sexual neuroses of the right, the mystery of why any person desires another, and the irrational power of love that, when thwarted, can turn so easily into an urge to murder. ‘Where Are We?’ mines Harrison’s private religion of the sensuous and sensual as integral to the transcendent joy of living. The Summer He Didn’t Die displays wit as sharp and prose as lush as any Harrison has yet written. It is a resonant, hilarious, and joyful ode to our journey on this earth.

The Farmer’s Daughter

The three stories in The Farmer’s Daughter are as different as they are unforgettable. Written in the voice of a home schooled fifteen year old girl in rural Montana, the title novella is an uncompromising, beautiful tale of an extraordinary character whose youth intersects with unexpected brutality and of the reserves she must draw on to make herself whole. In another story, Harrison’s beloved recurring character, Brown Dog, still looking for love, escapes from Canada back to the States on the tour bus of an Indian rock band called Thunderskins. And in the concluding story, a retired werewolf attempts to lead a normal life but is plagued by feverish episodes of lust, physical appetite, athletic exertions, and outbursts of violence under the full moon.

Letters to Yesenin

The way Harrison has embedded his entire vision of our predicament implicitly in the particulars of two poetic lives, his own and Yesenin s, is what makes the poem not only his best but one of the best in the past twenty five years of American writing. Hayden Carruth, Sulfur Harrison inhabits the problems of our age as if they were beasts into which he had crawled, and Letters to Yesenin is a kind of imaginative taxidermy that refuses to stay in place up on the trophy room wall, but insists on walking into the dining room. The American Poetry Review Jim Harrison’s gorgeous, desperate, and harrowing correspondence with Sergei Yesenin a Russian poet who committed suicide after writing his final poem in his own blood is considered an American masterwork. In the early 1970s, Harrison was living in poverty on a hardscrabble farm, suffering from depression and suicidal tendencies. In response he began to write daily prose poem Letters to Yesenin. Through this one sided correspondence, Harrison unloads to this unlikely hero, ranting and raving about politics, drinking problems, family concerns, farm life, and a full range of daily occurrences. The rope remains ever present. Yet sometime through these letters there is a significant shift. Rather than feeling inextricably linked to Yesenin s inevitable path, Harrison becomes furious, arguing about their imagined relationship: I m beginning to doubt whether we ever would have been friends. In the end, Harrison listened to his own poems: My year old daughter s red robe hangs from the doorknob shouting Stop.

The Theory and Practice of Rivers and New Poems

Poetry by noted author Jim Harrison.

After Ikkyu and Other Poems

Jim Harrison’s popular novels represent only part of his literary output he has also been widely acclaimed for the ‘renegade genius’ of his powerful, expressive verse, collected in several books such as The Theory and Practice of Rivers and Other Poems Clark City Press, 1989. After Ikkyu is the first collection of Harrison’s poems that are directly inspired by his many years of Zen practice.

The Shape of the Journey

Here is the definitive collection of poetry from one of America’s best loved writers now available in paperback. With the publication of this book, eight volumes of poetry were brought back into print, including the early nature based lyrics of Plain Song, the explosive Outlyer & Ghazals, and the startling ‘correspondence’ with a dead Russian poet in Letters to Yesenin. Also included is an introduction by Harrison, several previously uncollected poems, and ‘Geo Bestiary,’ a 34 part paean to earthly passions. The Shape of the Journey confirms Jim Harrison s place among the most brilliant and essential poets writing today.’Behind the words one always feels the presence of a passionate, exuberant man who is at the same time possessed of a quick, subtle intelligence and a deeply questioning attitude toward life. Harrison writes so winningly that one is simply content to be in the presence of a writer this vital, this large spirited.’ The New York Times Book Review’An untrammelled renegade genius here s a poet talking to you instead of around himself, while doing absolutely brilliant and outrageous things with language.’ Publishers Weekly’Readers can wander the woods of this collection for a lifetime and still be amazed at what they find.’ Booklist starred review. When the cloth edition of this book was first published, it immediately became one of Copper Canyon Press s all time bestsellers. It was featured on Garrison Keillor s Writer s Almanac, became a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was selected as one of the ‘Top Ten Books of 1998’ by Booklist. Jim Harrison is the author of twenty books, including Legends of the Fall and The Road Home. He has also written numerous screenplays and served as the food columnist for Esquire magazine. He lives in Michigan and Arizona. Dead DeerAmid pale green milkweed, wild clover, a rotted deer curled, shaglike, after a winter so cold the trees split open. I think she couldn’t keep up with the others they had no place to go and her food, frozen grass and twigs,

Braided Creek

Braided Creek contains more than 300 poems exchanged in this longstanding correspondence. Wise, wry, and penetrating, the poems touch upon numerous subjects, from the natural world to the nature of time. Harrison and Kooser decided to remain silent over who wrote which poem, allowing their voices, ideas, and images to swirl and merge into this remarkable suite of lyrics. Each time I go outside the worldis different. This has happened all my life. The moon put her handover my mouth and told meto shut up and watch. A nephew rubs the sore feetof his aunt, and the rope that lifts us all toward gracecreaks on the pulley. Under the storyteller’s hatare many heads, all troubled. Jim Harrison, one of America s best loved writers, is author of two dozen books of poetry, fiction, essays, food criticism, and memoir. He is best known for a collection of novellas, Legends of the Fall, and the epic novel Dalva. He lives in western Montana and southern Arizona. Ted Kooser is the author of eight collections of poetry and a prose memoir. His poetry appears regularly in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Nation. He lives in Nebraska.

Saving Daylight

Harrison doesn t write like anyone else, relying entirely on the toughness of his vision and intensity of feeling to form the poem…
here’s a poet talking to you instead of around himself, while doing absolutely brilliant and outrageous things with language. Publishers Weekly One is simply content to be in the presence of a writer this vital, this large spirited. The New York Times Book Review Although best known for his acclaimed fiction, Jim Harrison s poetry has earned him recognition as an untrammeled renegade genius. Saving Daylight, his tenth collection of poetry and first in a decade is grounded in thickets and rivers, birds and bears, and the solace of dogs in a crazed political world. Whether contemplating the ephemerality of 90,000,000,000 galaxies or the immediate grace of a waitress, Harrison relishes the art and mysteries of being alive. I m enrolled in a school without visible teachers, he writes in the title poem, the divine mumbling just out of ear shot. From The Little Appearances of God When god visits us he sleeps without a clock in empty bird nests. He likes the view. Not too high. Not too low. He winks a friendly wink at a nearby possum who sniffs the air unable to detect the scent of this not quite visible stranger…
Jim Harrison is the author of two dozen books, including Legends of the Fall and Dalva. His work has been translated into 20 languages and produced as four feature length films. Mr. Harrison divides his time between Montana and southern Arizona.

In Search of Small Gods

‘Funny and tender beneath a wry and gruff seen it all veneer, Harrison contemplates death, discerns divinity in every stone and leaf, and nobility in ordinary lives, and laughs at our attempts to separate ourselves from the rest of nature.’ Booklist’His poems succeed on the basis of an open heart and a still ravenous appetite for life.’ The Texas ObserverNow in paperback, Jim Harrison’s best selling poetry book In Search of Small Gods is where birds and humans converse, autobiographies are fluid, and unknown gods flutter just out of sight. In terrains real and imagined from remote canyons and anonymous thickets in the American West to secret baseme*nts in World War II Europe Harrison calls upon readers to live fully in a world where ‘Death steals everything except our stories.’Maybe the problem is that I got involved with the wrong crowd ofgods when I was seven. At first they weren’t harmful and only showedthemselves as fish, birds, especially herons and loons, turtles, a bobcatand a small bear, but not deer and rabbits who only offered themselvesas food. And maybe I spent too much time inside the water oflakes and rivers. Underwater seemed like the safest church I couldgo to…
Jim Harrison is one of America’s most versatile and celebrated writers. He is the author of over thirty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, including Legends of the Fall and Dalva. His work has been translated into two dozen languages. He lives in Arizona and Montana.

Songs of Unreason

1 Poetry Foundation BestsellerMichigan Notable Book A beautifully mysterious inquiry…
Here Harrison forthright, testy, funny, and profoundly discerning a gruff romantic and a sage realist, tells tales about himself, from his dangerous obsession with Federico Garc a Lorca to how he touched a bear’s head, reflects on his dance with the trickster age, and shares magnetizing visions of dogs, horses, birds, and rivers. Oscillating between drenching experience and intellectual musings, Harrison celebrates movement as the pulse of life, and art, which scrubs the soul fresh. Booklist Harrison has written a nearly pitch perfect book of poems, shining with the elemental force of Neruda’s Odes or Matisse’s paper cutouts…
. In Songs of Unreason,, his finest book of verse, Harrison has stripped his voice to the bare essentials to what must be said, and only what must be said.’ The Wichita Eagle Songs of Unreason, Harrison s latest collection of poetry, is a wonderful defense of the possibilities of living. His are hard won lines, but never bitter, just broken in and thankful for the chance to have seen it all. The Industrial Worker Book Review Unlike many contemporary poets, Harrison is philosophical, but his philosophy is nature based and idiosyncratic: Much that you see/ isn t with your eyes./ Throughout the body are eyes. As in all good poetry, Harrison s lines linger to be ruminated upon a third or fourth time, with each new reading revealing more substance and raising more questions. Library Journal It wouldn t be a Harrison collection without the poet, novelist, and food critic s reverence for rivers, dogs, and women his poems stun us simply, with the richness of the clarity, detail, and the immediacy of Harrison s voice. Publishers WeeklyJim Harrison’s compelling and provocative Songs of Unreason explores what it means to inhabit the world in atavistic, primitive, and totemistic ways. ‘This can be disturbing to the learned,’ Harrison admits. Using interconnected suites, brief lyrics, and rollicking narratives, Harrison’s passions and concerns creeks, thickets, time’s effervescence, familial love emerge by turns painful and celebratory, localized and exiled.

Just Before Dark

Here are twenty five years of Harrison’s essays and articles, from venues as diverse as Playboy and The Nation, Outside and the American Poetry Review. They explore the passions and concerns of a classic American writer: ice fishing and bar pool, nouvelle cuisine and night walks. ‘Somewhere in that big literary acreage staked out by Thoreau, Hemingway, and Hunter Thompson is a chunk of space for Jim Harrison’ Playboy.

The Raw and the Cooked

Jim Harrison is one of this country’s most beloved writers, a muscular, brilliantly economic stylist with a salty wisdom. For more than twenty years, he has also been writing some of the best essays on food around, now collected in a volume that caused the Santa Fe New Mexican to exclaim: ‘To read this book is to come away convinced that Harrison is a flat out genius one who devours life with intensity, living it roughly and full scale, then distills his experiences into passionate, opinionated prose. Food, in this context, is more than food: It is a metaphor for life.’ From his legendary Smart and Esquire columns, to present day pieces including a correspondence with French gourmet Gerard Oberle, fabulous pieces on food in France and America for Men’s Journal, and a paean to the humble meatball, The Raw and the Cooked is a nine course meal that will satisfy every appetite. ‘Our ‘poet laureate of appetite’ Harrison may be, but the collected essays here reflect much more.’ John Gamino, The Dallas Morning News ‘ A culinary combo plate of Hunter S. Thompson, Ernest Hemingway, Julian Schnabel, and Sam Peckinpah…
.’ Jane and Michael Stern, The New York Times Book Review ‘Jim Harrison is the Henry Miller of food writing. His passion is infectious.’ Jeffrey Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal

Conversations with Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison b. 1937 is well known for his blunt, brave style in prose, poetry, screenplays, and nonfiction. In Conversations with Jim Harrison, the Michigan born writer’s directness and passion shine throughout. Conversations with Jim Harrison is the first ever collection of interviews by this well known, prolific writer whose books include twenty two volumes of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published over a period of thirty six years. In addition to standard literary forms, he has written sporting essays, reviews, literary journalism, food columns, and almost twenty screenplays. Harrison, a writer devoted to small presses and independent bookstores, has a formidable reputation as a recluse and defender of his privacy. However, he has been open to interviews in America and abroad, particularly in France, where he is very popular. Conversations with Jim Harrison features interviews given between 1976 and 1999. Although the conversations vary in length, most are traditional questions and answers. In these Harrison has the opportunity to develop his responses fully and cover a wider range of topics than he can in the briefer, profile pieces. Harrison discusses his peripatetic early life, his desire to be a poet since he was sixteen, and his subsequent ‘quadra schizoid’ attraction to writing poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays. A literary outsider who prefers rural life Harrison talks in detail about his colorful, eventful life. He also explores the mutual enrichment he received from nature and civilization. He talks specifically about a number of his important books including Wolf, Legends of the Fall, Sundog, Warlock, and The Road Home. Harrison speaks eloquently about habits of mind, aesthetic choices, intellectual resources, and psychological contexts in his writing. By turns thoughtful, cantankerous, witty, and erudite, his voice reveals a man fully given over to the single minded pursuit of the art of writing. Robert DeMott is the Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor of English at Ohio University in Athens. His recent books include Steinbeck’s Typewriter: Essays on His Art 1996, Dave Smith: A Literary Archive 2000, and The Weather in Athens 2001.

Off to the Side

For nearly forty years, Jim Harrison has been one of America’s most beloved writers, an award winning literary giant who has given us such American classics as Dalva, Legends of the Fall, and The Road Home. And he is perhaps just as loved for his personality gleefully devoted to life’s sensual pleasures, staunchly unpretentious, and ever mindful of the dangers of straying too far from our origin. Now, for the first time, Jim Harrison has put pen to paper to write about his own life a life that is the root of his wonderful fiction, and which he captures with a riveting directness and a delightful, peculiar music. In Off to the Side, Harrison writes about his upbringing in Michigan; the austerities of life amid the Depression and the Second World War, and the seemingly greater austerities of his starchy Swedish forebears; and how a boy from the ‘heartland’ somehow ended up a highly paid Hollywood screenwriter and world renowned novelist. He returns always to his love of literature from his first awakenings to the power of writing in his teens, and his youthful decision to model himself on Rimbaud; how books have remained his center, sustaining him during the darkest times of his life. He gives free rein to his ‘seven obsessions’ alcohol, food, stripping, hunting and fishing and dogs, religion, the road, and our place in the natural world which he elucidates with earthy wisdom and an elegant sense of connectedness. Above all, he delivers a joyful, meditative, candid, and wise book that is a paean to the complex delights of life. The New York Times Book Review has written that Jim Harrison’s work is ‘a big, wet, sloppy kiss that Harrison continues to plant on the face of life itself.’ Now, for the first time, Harrison has been willing to share his immense spirit with readers in a most personal way. Off to the Side is a work of great beauty and importance that is sure to delight. ‘Reading Jim Harrison is…
as close as one can come in contemporary fiction to experiencing the abundant pleasures of living.’ The Boston Globe ‘Harrison has quietly established one of the deeper canons in modern American letters.’ William Porter, The Denver Post ‘Somewhere in that big literary acreage staked out by Thoreau, Hemingway, and Hunter Thompson is a…
space for Jim Harrison.’ Playboy

The Etiquette of Freedom

Gary Snyder joined his old friend, novelist Jim Harrison, to discuss their loves and lives and what has become of them throughout the years. Set amidst the natural beauty of the Santa Lucia Mountains, their conversations harnessing their ideas of all that is wild, sacred and intimate in this world move from the admission that Snyder’s mother was a devout atheist to his personal accounts of his initiation into Zen Buddhist culture, being literally dangled by the ankles over a cliff. After years of living in Japan, Snyder returns to the States to build a farmhouse in the remote foothills of the Sierras, a homestead he calls Kitkitdizze. For all of the depth in these conversations, Jim Harrison and Gary Snyder are humorous and friendly, and with the artfully interspersed dialogue from old friends and loves like Scott Slovic, Michael McClure, Jack Shoemaker, and Joanne Kyger, the discussion reaches a level of not only the personal, but the global, redefining our idea of the Beat Generation and challenging the future directions of the environmental movement and its association with Deep Ecology. The Etiquette of Freedom is an all encompassing companion to the film The Practice of the Wild. A DVD is included which contains the film together with more than an hour of out takes and expanded interviews, as well as an extended reading by Gary Snyder. The whole offers a rare glimpse of their extended discussion of life and what it means to be wild and alive.

Wild Stories

For the past decade, Men’s Journal has set the standard for travel and adventure writing by publishing the work of America s finest authors and literary journalists. Wild Stories collects thirty two of the best pieces to appear in the magazine, written by its most esteemed contributors, including Jim Harrison, Sebastian Junger, P. J. O Rourke, Rick Bass, Thomas McGuane, George Plimpton, Hampton Sides, Doug Stanton, Tim Cahill, and Mark Bowden.

Each of the four chapters in Wild Stories showcases Men s Journal s diversity and taut storytelling power. The Adventures is a series of razor sharp travel narratives, from a road trip across India on the perilous Grand Trunk Road to a search for grizzlies in Romania. The Sporting Life is a look into obscure corners of the sports world, where golf s bush league wannabes try to make it to the PGA and a group of cyclists out suffer one another in pursuit of the mythic Hour Record. Men s Lives includes profiles of singular adventurers such as Yvon Chouinard and Ned Gillette, and captures the rewards of such quintessentially male traditions as building a cabin on your own plot of land. And The Reporting collects definitive accounts of the most newsworthy disasters, as well as riveting dispatches from war zones in Somalia, Sudan, and Colombia, and from environmental hot spots in Alaska and Montana.

Commemorating Men s Journal s tenth anniversary, Wild Stories is a diverse and entertaining anthology that explores the magazine s basic creed: Life is an adventure. From the first page to the last, these are stories you ll never forget.

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