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8 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z
7 Remote Warehouse Literature- Family Life

The English Major

by

The English Major Cover

 

Staff Pick

You don't have to be young to start over, hip to seize life, or daring to have adventure. You don't need to be moneyed (or utterly destitute) to meet the right people. A simple life is fuel enough for insight and meaning, and change is often good. Jim Harrison's writing is marvelous, and in his new novel — On the Road for the common man — he takes the reader on a trip with a teacher-turned-farmer who hits the highways after personal catastrophe.
Recommended by Jason W., Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"It used to be Cliff and Vivian and now it isn't."

With these words, Jim Harrison sends his sixty-something protagonist, divorced and robbed of his farm by a late-blooming real estate shark of an ex-wife, on a road trip across America, armed with a childhood puzzle of the United States and a mission to rename all the states and state birds to overcome the banal names men have given them. Cliff's adventures take him through a whirlwind affair with a former student from his high school teaching days some twenty years earlier; 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 in San Francisco.

Review:

"In Harrison's funny, spirited latest, Cliff, a 60-year-old former Michigan high school teacher, bids adieu to his inherited family farm (lost in a shady real estate deal); his wife, Vivian, of 38 years (who has been cheating on him and orchestrated the deal) and dear departed dog Lola (the 'truest woman in my life'); and sets off on a yearlong, countrywide jag. Armed with his childhood jigsaw puzzle mapping the 50 states, Cliff endearingly tosses out a puzzle piece every time he crosses state lines, reminisces and tries (with as much humor as he can muster) to make the best of his shattered existence. The miles between Minnesota and Montana play host to a melodramatically drawn-out love/hate 'romantic triumph' with Marybelle, a married former student. She stalks Cliff well into a visit with his affluent gay son, Robert, flourishing in San Francisco. As more calamity ensues in Arizona, New Mexico and Montana, the possibility of reconciliation with Vivian looms. With a plot left deliberately thin, Harrison is consistently witty and engaging as he drives home his timeless theme: that change can be beneficial at any point in life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

At the end of a class reunion that he didn't want to attend, poor Cliff notices that his wife has returned to the party with grass stains on her clothes. She soon deserts him to run off with an old high-school flame and, in the bargain, pockets most of the profits from the sale of the Michigan farm where Cliff has raised cattle and tended orchards for the past 25 years. Oh, and his dog just died.

... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

Harrison's sixty-something protagonist — divorced and robbed of his farm by a late-blooming real-estate shark of an ex-wife — embarks on a road trip across America, in this story that is the map of a man's journey into, and out of, himself.

Synopsis:

“It used to be Cliff and Vivian and now it isnt.” 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 mens 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 Harrisons riotous and moving cross-country novel, The English Major, is the map of a mans journey into, and out of, himself. It is vintage Harrison—reflective, big-picture American, and replete with wicked wit.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802144140
Author:
Harrison, Jim
Publisher:
Grove Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Publication Date:
20091031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 8.5 oz

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The English Major New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.00 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Grove Press - English 9780802144140 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

You don't have to be young to start over, hip to seize life, or daring to have adventure. You don't need to be moneyed (or utterly destitute) to meet the right people. A simple life is fuel enough for insight and meaning, and change is often good. Jim Harrison's writing is marvelous, and in his new novel — On the Road for the common man — he takes the reader on a trip with a teacher-turned-farmer who hits the highways after personal catastrophe.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Harrison's funny, spirited latest, Cliff, a 60-year-old former Michigan high school teacher, bids adieu to his inherited family farm (lost in a shady real estate deal); his wife, Vivian, of 38 years (who has been cheating on him and orchestrated the deal) and dear departed dog Lola (the 'truest woman in my life'); and sets off on a yearlong, countrywide jag. Armed with his childhood jigsaw puzzle mapping the 50 states, Cliff endearingly tosses out a puzzle piece every time he crosses state lines, reminisces and tries (with as much humor as he can muster) to make the best of his shattered existence. The miles between Minnesota and Montana play host to a melodramatically drawn-out love/hate 'romantic triumph' with Marybelle, a married former student. She stalks Cliff well into a visit with his affluent gay son, Robert, flourishing in San Francisco. As more calamity ensues in Arizona, New Mexico and Montana, the possibility of reconciliation with Vivian looms. With a plot left deliberately thin, Harrison is consistently witty and engaging as he drives home his timeless theme: that change can be beneficial at any point in life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Harrison's sixty-something protagonist — divorced and robbed of his farm by a late-blooming real-estate shark of an ex-wife — embarks on a road trip across America, in this story that is the map of a man's journey into, and out of, himself.
"Synopsis" by ,
“It used to be Cliff and Vivian and now it isnt.” 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 mens 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 Harrisons riotous and moving cross-country novel, The English Major, is the map of a mans journey into, and out of, himself. It is vintage Harrison—reflective, big-picture American, and replete with wicked wit.
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