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- Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
- Format: Hardback | 198 pages
- Dimensions: 142mm x 218mm x 28mm | 386g
- Publication date: 19 September 2013
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0802120733
- ISBN 13: 9780802120731
- Edition statement: New.
- Sales rank: 286,007
* Jim Harrison is one of America's most beloved and critically-acclaimed authors--on a par with American literary greats like Richard Ford, Anne Tyler, Robert Stone, Russell Banks, and Ann Beattie. His latest collection of novellas, The River Swimmer, is Harrison at his most memorable: a brilliant rendering of two men striving to find their way in the world, written with freshness, abundant wit, and profound humanity. In The Land of Unlikeness, sixty-year-old art history academic Clive--a failed artist, divorced and grappling with the vagaries of his declining years--reluctantly returns to his family's Michigan farmhouse to visit his aging mother. The return to familiar territory triggers a jolt of renewal--of ardor for his high school love, of his relationship with his estranged daughter, and of his own lost love of painting. In Water Baby, Harrison ventures into the magical as an Upper Peninsula farm boy is irresistibly drawn to the water as an escape, and sees otherworldly creatures there. Faced with the injustice and pressure of coming of age, he takes to the river and follows its siren song all the way across Lake Michigan. The River Swimmer is a striking portrait of two richly-drawn, profoundly human characters, and an exceptional reminder of why Jim Harrison is one of the most cherished and important writers at work today.
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Jim Harrison is the author of over thirty books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including "Legends of the Fall," "The Road Home," "Returning to Earth," and "The Summer He Didn't Die." A member of American Academy of Arts and Letters and winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he has had work published in twenty-seven languages. Harrison lives in Montana and Arizona.
Praise for "The River Swimmer" "In his fiction, especially, [Harrison has] hit a deep groove. His meditations on mortality are blended with an antic wit. . . . Mr. Harrison's new book, "The River Swimmer" . . . contains some of the best writing of his career. Both novellas burn brightly with what he calls, at one point, 'unmitigated cupidity, ' not for money or possessions but for life and experience. . . . He is among the most indelible American novelists of the last hundred years . . . Mr. Harrison contains multitudes; like a good rabbit liver pate, there is a lot of him to spread around. . . . If "The River Swimmer" is any indication, he remains at the height of his powers."--Dwight Garner, "The New York Times" "Trenchant and visionary . . . Harrison is a writer of the body, which he celebrates as the ordinary, essential and wondrous instrument by which we measure the world. Without it, there is no philosophy. And with it, of course, philosophy can be a rocky test. . . . I could feel Jim Harrison grinning . . . in his glorious novella "The River Swimmer.""--Ron Carlson, "The New York Times Book Review" "[Harrison] has crafted gorgeous and wry sentences out of the quiet raging against the indignities and infirmities of age. And, in Clive, he has created another indelible and soulful rascal. . . . Harrison is one of our greatest voices of aging both clumsily and well and of teasing out hope amid sentimentality and dread."--Ian Crouch, "The Boston Globe " "You can't escape your true nature, Jim Harrison's two new novellas assert. . . . Here, he's achieved a mood that approximates in modern terms the tranquility of Shakespeare's late romances. The existential uncertainties that always animate Harrison's fiction are not so much resolved as accepted for what they are: the basic fabric of existence, from which we pluck as much happiness as we can."--Wendy Smith, "The Washington Post" "[Harrison's] latest book of novellas . . .deepens