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Returning to Earth

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Returning to Earth Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Hailed by The New York Times Book Review as "a master...who makes the ordinary extraordinary, the unnamable unforgettable," beloved author Jim Harrison returns with a masterpiece — a tender, profound, and magnificent novel about life, death, and finding redemption in unlikely places. Slowly dying of Lou Gehrig's Disease, Donald, a middle-aged Chippewa-Finnish man, begins dictating family stories he has never shared with anyone, hoping to preserve history for his children. The dignity of Donald's death and his legacy encourages his loved ones to find a way to redeem — and let go of — the past, whether through his daughter's emersion in Chippewa religious ideas or his mourning wife's attempt to escape the malevolent influence of her own father.  A deeply moving book about origins and endings, and how to live with honor for the dead, Returning to Earth is one of the finest novels of Harrison's long, storied career, and will confirm his standing as one of the most important American writers now working.

Review:

"Dying at 45 of Lou Gehrig's disease, Donald, who is Chippewa- Finnish, dictates his family story to his wife, Cynthia, who records this headlong tale for their two grown children (and also interjects). Donald's half-Chippewa great-grandfather, Clarence, set out from Minnesota in 1871 at age 13 for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In Donald's compellingly digressive telling, Clarence worked the farms and mines of the northern Midwest, and arrived in the Marquette, Mich., area 35 years later. As Donald weaves the tale of his settled life of marriage and fatherhood with that of his restless ancestors, he reveals his deep connection to an earlier, wilder time and to a kind of people who are 'gone forever.' The next three parts of the novel, each narrated by a different member of Donald's family, relate the story of Donald's death and its effects. While his daughter, Clare, seeks solace in Donald's Anishnabeg religion, Cynthia and her brother, David, use Donald's death to come to terms with the legacy of their alcoholic father. The rambling narrative veers away from the epic sweep of Harrison's Legends of the Fall, and Donald's reticence about the role religion plays in his life dilutes its impact on the story. But Harrison's characters speak with a gripping frankness and intimacy about their own shortcomings, and delve into their grief with keen sympathy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Dying at 45 of Lou Gehrig's disease, Donald, who is Chippewa- Finnish, dictates his family story to his wife, Cynthia, who records this headlong tale for their two grown children (and also interjects). Donald's half-Chippewa great-grandfather, Clarence, set out from Minnesota in 1871 at age 13 for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In Donald's compellingly digressive telling, Clarence worked the farms and mines of the northern Midwest, and arrived in the Marquette, Mich., area 35 years later. As Donald weaves the tale of his settled life of marriage and fatherhood with that of his restless ancestors, he reveals his deep connection to an earlier, wilder time and to a kind of people who are 'gone forever.' The next three parts of the novel, each narrated by a different member of Donald's family, relate the story of Donald's death and its effects. While his daughter, Clare, seeks solace in Donald's Anishnabeg religion, Cynthia and her brother, David, use Donald's death to come to terms with the legacy of their alcoholic father. The rambling narrative veers away from the epic sweep of Harrison's Legends of the Fall, and Donald's reticence about the role religion plays in his life dilutes its impact on the story. But Harrison's characters speak with a gripping frankness and intimacy about their own shortcomings, and delve into their grief with keen sympathy. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A deeply felt meditation on life and death, nature and God, this is one of Harrison's finest works." Library Journal

Review:

"Death remains a mystery, as Harrison explores the meaning it gives to life." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"In the tradition of Louise Erdrich and Thomas McGuane, Harrison displays a seemingly effortless ability to present abstract issues in earthy, muscular prose." Booklist

Review:

"[A] watershed work for Harrison. More than his earlier fiction, it examines the powers of love and commitment to reconcile loss and death, and to heal wounds borne for generations." Seattle Times

Synopsis:

In his latest novel, the acclaimed author of Saving Daylight delivers a tender, profound, and magnificent novel about origins and endings, how to make sense of loss, and how to live with honor for the dead.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802118387
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Harrison, Jim
Author:
Jim, Harrison
Publisher:
Grove Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Family
Subject:
Death
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20061127
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 15.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Engineering » Engineering » History
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy

Returning to Earth Used Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages Grove Press - English 9780802118387 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Dying at 45 of Lou Gehrig's disease, Donald, who is Chippewa- Finnish, dictates his family story to his wife, Cynthia, who records this headlong tale for their two grown children (and also interjects). Donald's half-Chippewa great-grandfather, Clarence, set out from Minnesota in 1871 at age 13 for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In Donald's compellingly digressive telling, Clarence worked the farms and mines of the northern Midwest, and arrived in the Marquette, Mich., area 35 years later. As Donald weaves the tale of his settled life of marriage and fatherhood with that of his restless ancestors, he reveals his deep connection to an earlier, wilder time and to a kind of people who are 'gone forever.' The next three parts of the novel, each narrated by a different member of Donald's family, relate the story of Donald's death and its effects. While his daughter, Clare, seeks solace in Donald's Anishnabeg religion, Cynthia and her brother, David, use Donald's death to come to terms with the legacy of their alcoholic father. The rambling narrative veers away from the epic sweep of Harrison's Legends of the Fall, and Donald's reticence about the role religion plays in his life dilutes its impact on the story. But Harrison's characters speak with a gripping frankness and intimacy about their own shortcomings, and delve into their grief with keen sympathy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Dying at 45 of Lou Gehrig's disease, Donald, who is Chippewa- Finnish, dictates his family story to his wife, Cynthia, who records this headlong tale for their two grown children (and also interjects). Donald's half-Chippewa great-grandfather, Clarence, set out from Minnesota in 1871 at age 13 for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In Donald's compellingly digressive telling, Clarence worked the farms and mines of the northern Midwest, and arrived in the Marquette, Mich., area 35 years later. As Donald weaves the tale of his settled life of marriage and fatherhood with that of his restless ancestors, he reveals his deep connection to an earlier, wilder time and to a kind of people who are 'gone forever.' The next three parts of the novel, each narrated by a different member of Donald's family, relate the story of Donald's death and its effects. While his daughter, Clare, seeks solace in Donald's Anishnabeg religion, Cynthia and her brother, David, use Donald's death to come to terms with the legacy of their alcoholic father. The rambling narrative veers away from the epic sweep of Harrison's Legends of the Fall, and Donald's reticence about the role religion plays in his life dilutes its impact on the story. But Harrison's characters speak with a gripping frankness and intimacy about their own shortcomings, and delve into their grief with keen sympathy. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A deeply felt meditation on life and death, nature and God, this is one of Harrison's finest works."
"Review" by , "Death remains a mystery, as Harrison explores the meaning it gives to life."
"Review" by , "In the tradition of Louise Erdrich and Thomas McGuane, Harrison displays a seemingly effortless ability to present abstract issues in earthy, muscular prose."
"Review" by , "[A] watershed work for Harrison. More than his earlier fiction, it examines the powers of love and commitment to reconcile loss and death, and to heal wounds borne for generations."
"Synopsis" by , In his latest novel, the acclaimed author of Saving Daylight delivers a tender, profound, and magnificent novel about origins and endings, how to make sense of loss, and how to live with honor for the dead.
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