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Jim Harrison (1937-2016)

Amazon Book Review: Jim HarrisonJim Harrison died March 26 at the age of 78 at his summer home in Patagonia, Arizona. 

Widely considered the master of the novella, Harrison's stories often dealt with outsiders living in wild spaces, especially Michigan (where he was born), Montana, and Arizona. He is perhaps most well known for "Legends of the Fall," a story of three brothers ranging from their Montana home to the battlefields of World War I and back again. Despite its concise length, "Legends"--the title novella of the collection of the same name--is an epic of desperate acts and ruinous consequences, and was later adapted as a 1994 film that helped jumpstart Brad Pitt's early career.

Harrison was not only an insightful writer, but a prolific one as well. His more than thirty books span criticism, poetry, and culinary writing, where his frontier-sized appetites (not always limited to food) often found their most eloquent (if unintuitive) expression, many collected in The Raw and the Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand. Other books include True North, A Good Day to Die, In Search of Small Gods, and Dead Man's Float, published in January. 

Like many of his characters, Harrison was an avid outdoorsman, drawing frequent comparisons to Ernest Hemingway for his taste for a rugged and rough-edged life. But Jim Harrison was one of a kind, and his contribution to Western literature cannot be overstated or replicated.  

The cause of death has not been released. 


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