Jim Harrison
Jim Harrison
The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, Jim Harrison is a poet, novelist, essayist, and screenwriter whose work enjoys a substantial world-wide following among critics and general readers alike. His novels and novellas--including Wolf, A Good Day to Die, Farmer, Legends of the Fall, Warlock, Sundog, Dalva, The Woman Lit by Fireflies, Julip, The Road Home, and The Beast God Forgot to Invent--have been published in twenty-two languages, and many of them have been adapted to the screen as feature motion pictures.

His nine volumes of poetry include Plain Song, Locations, Letters to Yesenin, The Theory and Practice of Rivers, After Ikkyu, and The Shape of the Journey. In 2000, Harrison published his first children's book, The Boy Who Ran to the Woods, which is a semi-autobiographical account of his own childhood in northern Michigan.

His only book of non-fiction is Just Before Dark, an anthology of work from three decades that includes essays on food, travel, literature, and the natural world which have appeared in publications as disparate as Sports Illustrated, Esquire (where he once served as food editor), and Psychoanalytic Review. A French film documentary about Harrison and The Hour of the Wolf was released in Europe in 1993.

Harrison received B.A. and M.A. degrees in English and Comparative Literature from Michigan State University in 1960 and 1966 respectively. Born in Grayling in 1937, raised in Reed City and Haslett, he is the son of a county agent who moved the Harrison family to the East Lansing area so his children could attend Michigan State University.

"The novella all but boils over with dreams -- dreams of literature, love, loss, of all those epic L-words that too few writers seem brave enough, in these chilly times, to address on anything but ironic terms. "I Forgot to Go to Spain" is imbued with all the gravelly melancholy of a Tom Waits ballad, but it never once, despite that swarm of L-words, forces sentiment; the autumnal passion that drives the tale is never less than tactile. I could go on -- about the casual lack of geometry and astounding texture of Harrison's prose, about the delicacy of his characterizations -- but why? "I Forgot to Go to Spain" is above my twerpy praise. It's simply thrilling to see a writer reach for the sky and actually grab it." -Jonathan Miles

For more information on Jim Harrison, please visit http://www.lectures.org/harrison.html.

To view Special Collections' holdings of Harrison's work, please click here.

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Last Updated: January 19, 2010