Jim Harrison Works His Way Back Home

Cover ImageI’m a little late to the Jim Harrison party. OK, very late, but as they say, “better late than never.” It has only been in the past two weeks or so that the name Jim Harrison has repeatedly come up in conversation. However, when my friend mentioned him and said, “but I’m sure you know all about him,” I had to admit that I had not a clue.

Like it so often happens, once a name or a word is mentioned it continues to crop up in the most unexpected places. For starters, I bumped square into Harrison’s latest work The Farmer’s Daughter as I took the corner at Baldwin library. Shortly afterward, my sister- in-law emailed me from her Paris home to tell me she had enjoyed True North, was currently reading Returning to Earth, and asked me my opinion on Jim Harrison’s style. I thought, “that’s it!” Who is this person?

I decided I would do some solid research on this not so masked man and post a piece about him. Yet, there he was again. As luck would have it, Free Press specials writer Christopher Walton did all the work (and oh, so much more) in his piece Poet of the Peninsulas, a beautiful spread which appeared in today’s edition of the Detroit Free Press.

Walton states that “at 72, Harrison’s literary output is accelerating” which is pretty impressive considering he’s “published 32 books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and written articles for Esquire, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times Book Review and others.” The included fact that nearly all of Harrison’s recent work is set in northern Michigan only adds to the local fascination, ramping up excitement for his latest work.

So as I approach Mr. Harrison’s December release “The Farmer’s Daughter” with full intrigue, I feel far more prepared and informed thanks to the hard work of another. I highly suggest you check out Walton’s article and the relatively broad scope of the book section in this week’s Free Press. I hope to post my review later this month.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

*Christopher Walton’s article appeared in the Sunday, January 17, 2010 edition of the Detroit Free Press.

*As always, support your local bookstores and universities. It matters!

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