Synopses & Reviews
Jim Harrison's fifteen works of fiction have established him as one of the most beloved and popular authors in American fiction. His last novel, The English Major
, was a National Indie Bestseller, a New York Times
Book Review notable, and a San Francisco Chronicle
Best Book of the Year.
Harrison's latest collection of novellas, The Farmer's Daughter, finds him writing at the height of his powers, and in fresh and audacious new directions. The three stories in The Farmer's Daughter are as different as they are unforgettable. Written in the voice of a home-schooled fifteen-year-old girl in rural Montana, the title novella is an uncompromising, beautiful tale of an extraordinary character whose youth intersects with unexpected brutality, and the reserves she must draw on to make herself whole.
In another, Harrison's beloved recurring character Brown Dog, still looking for love, escapes from Canada back to the States on the tour bus of an Indian rock band called Thunderskins. And finally, a retired werewolf, misdiagnosed with a rare blood disorder brought on by the bite of a Mexican hummingbird, attempts to lead a normal life but is nevertheless plagued by hazy, feverish episodes of epic lust, physical appetite, athletic exertions, and outbursts of violence under the full moon.
The Farmer's Daughter is a memorable portrait of three decidedly unconventional American lives. With wit, poignancy, and an unbounded love for his characters, Jim Harrison has again reminded us why he is one of the most cherished and important authors at work today.
"In three novellas as dark as they are exuberant, Harrison delivers protagonists who are smart, lusty in that classic Harrison fashion and linked by 'The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me,' a Patsy Cline song that appears throughout and could easily serve as the characters' theme song. The first novella recounts the story of Sarah, who is dragged to rural Montana by her neglectful parents and, at age 15, is the victim of a sexual assault that provides her with an undying thirst for revenge. The collection's second and strongest novella features a recurring Harrison character, Brown Dog, a half-Indian free spirit who cares for his ailing stepdaughter who is afflicted with fetal alcohol syndrome. (He also has sex a lot.) The final piece presents Samuel, who as a child traveling in Mexico contracted viruses that now cause werewolflike spells that render him a 'permanent stranger.' Harrison (Legends of the Fall) shows he is still at the top of his game with these compressed gems. Taken together, they present another fine accomplishment in a storied career." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Harrison covers an epic range of themes in these three lively novellas. All are cast with his usual mix of endearing if idiosyncratic characters who, in these tales, confront some blunt hardships....In Harrison's generous, insightful and slightly offbeat world, even werewolves get a shot at redemption." The Seattle Times
"Resilient, larger-than-life characters . . . Excellent fare for Harrison's devoted followers. New readers with a fondness for Hemingway's Michigan stories or Cormac McCarthy's spare regional novels will also find these tales much to their liking." Library Journal (starred review)
"Always as exhilarating as a breath of fresh air . . . Harrison's fiction . . . is rooted in a deep connection with nature and infused with passion for the vast wilds of America and respect for its disenfranchised." Heller McAlpin, NPR.or
About the Author
Jim Harrison was born in 1937, in Grayling, Michigan. He graduated from Michigan Statue University and taught there for a time. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Playboy, and The New York Times. Harrison is also the author of over twenty-five books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including four volumes of novellas, The Beast God Forgot to Invent (2000), Legends of the Fall (1979), The Woman Lit by Fireflies (1990), andJulip (1994); seven other novels, The Road Home (1998), Wolf (1971), A Good Day to Die (1973), Farmer (1976), Warlock (1981), and Dalva (1988); ten collections of poetry, including most recently Saving Daylight (2006), Braided Creek (2003), with Ted Kooser, and The Shape of the Journey: New and Collected Poems (1998); and three works of nonfiction, Just Before Dark (1991), The Raw and the Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand (2001), and the memoir Off to the Side (2001). The winner of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Spirit of the West Award from the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association, he has had his work published in twenty-two languages. Harrison divides his time between Michigan, Arizona, and Montana.