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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 and broadens his already openhearted and smart-minded sense of the way we live now, and what we might do to improve it. . . . Harrison [is] the reigning master of the [novella] form. . . . I have to say that Harrison has been hard put to better his personal best, "Legends of the Fall." . . . But with the lead piece in this new book, the autumnal novella he calls "The Land of Unlikeness," he comes quite close. . . . The new novella is . . . no less intense, as it enriches and enlarges an emotion-charged period in the life of Clive, a divorced Midwestern painter-turned-critic. . . . What does the male version of quality of life really mean? Something like this, something like this. And female readers who don t give over some time to studying Harrison s version of it will be as foolish as the men. Alan Cheuse, NPR Ever since writing "Legends of the Fall" 30 years ago, Jim Harrison has produced a steady stream of novellas demonstrating what a writer can do in approximately 100 pages. The trick to a good novella is to give the same richness of story, action and characters as one finds in a full-length novel. At its best, it is a novel shorn of fat, full of story. Steve Novak, "Minneapolis Star Tribune" Tales of manhood and magic . . . Harrison addresses with insight and humor such themes as the human relationship to the natural world, the powers of sexuality and violence, the uses of art, the line between sanity and madness, and the shadow of mortality. Colette Bancroft, "Tampa Bay Times" Exquisite . . . While the first novella is about the constancy of the past to reassert itself in our lives, the second focuses on the inescapable currents that bear us into the future. . . . The two novellas masterfully treat themes that will be familiar to Harrison s readers the disjunction between contemporary life and rural terrain, our inability to escape the past, the vapidity of urbanity. The writing is sparse but powerful. . . . this diptych of a collection is a joy. Ted Hart, "Kansas City Star" Refreshing . . . "The River Swimmer" is Harrison at his crusty best. Bruce Jacobs, Shelf Awareness (online) Jim Harrison is a master of the novella form. Steve Byrne, "Detroit Free Press" The ways in which [the two novellas] complement and contrast with each other attests to [Harrison s] range. . . . Everyday epiphanies from a major author. "Kirkus Reviews" [A] fine new collection . . .Harrison s novellas are each striking in their own ways, rich and satisfying. "Publishers Weekly" Harrison is one of America s great literary treasures; his rugged, beautifully tough-minded works help define America and its wide-open spaces, and his readers form almost a cult. Here, he will delight them. Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Jim Harrison is the author of thirty-six books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. He divides his time between Montana and Arizona.