Jim Harrison: A Genuine Life

Today, The Search for the Genuine hits shelves, bringing into the light some of Jim Harrison's greatest essays and journalism — some never before published.  This posthumous collection from a giant of American literature and poetry has us looking back at Harrison's life, career, and connections to us in Northern Michigan.

 

Jim Harrison...was among the great ones—an elevated soul in all his unruliness who favored his senses and courted the wild on the page and in the world. His was a storied life that loomed large, and we are the beneficiaries.

— Terry Tempest Williams, in her introduction to Jim Harrison: Complete Poems

 

Jim HarrisonBorn in Grayling, Michigan (just an hour's drive east of Traverse City) in December of 1937, Harrison spent his childhood and adolescence in small town Michigan.  Harrison became interested in poetry as a teenager, and drew inspiration from Richard Wright, Walt Whitman, and Pablo Neruda, among others.  He attended Michigan State, where earned a BA (1960) and MA (1964) in comparative literature — and soon after, he published his first poetry collection.

As he continued writing, Harrison became known for free-flowing verses and an intimate reverence for the uncivilized.  As he wrote from his cabin in Leelanau County, Michigan, or later from small-town Arizona and Montana, he brought his readers across the rural landscapes of America, from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to the mountains of Montana and the Arizona-Mexico border.  He entranced readers with deeply human stories of family, love, and violence, set against the backdrop of a stunning but unsympathetic world.

 

I like grit, I like love and death, I'm tired of irony. ... A lot of good fiction is sentimental. ... The novelist who refuses sentiment refuses the full spectrum of human behavior, and then he just dries up. ... I would rather give full vent to all human loves and disappointments, and take a chance on being corny, than die a smartass.

—Jim Harrison

 

Jim HarrisonOver the course of his career, Harrison published 17 collections of poetry, as well as a dozen novels, nine novellas, and five nonfiction titles.  He received much critical acclaim, earning three National Academy of Arts grants (1967, 1968, and 1969), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1969–70), and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2007).

In addition to his work in literature, poetry, and journalism, Harrison also tried his hand at screenwriting.  His first screenwriting credit was for the 1994 film Legends of the Fall: an adaptation of Harrison's book of the same name.  He went on to write and co-write several more films, including the 1994 film Wolf, which was awarded the Saturn Award for Best Writing.

 

Extravagantly talented, critically adored, more famous than most literary novelists . . . Jim Harrison gave his life to [writing], and American literature is richer as a result.

—Gregory Cowles, New York Times Book Review

 
The Search for the GenuineNow, six years after his passing, we are so excited to see a Jim Harrison collection back on our New Arrivals table.  Full of Harrison's humor, compassion, and dedication to the wild, The Search for the Genuine is a collection of new and previously published works, including musings on writing and meditation, journalism about tennis and shark-tagging, and so much more.

"Essentially charming... An essential installment in the Harrison canon" —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Hardcover • $28.00

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The Search for the Genuine: Nonfiction, 1970-2015 By Jim Harrison Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780802157218
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - September 13th, 2022

Jim Harrison: Complete Poems By Jim Harrison, Terry Tempest Williams (Introduction by), Joseph Bednarik (Editor) Cover Image
By Jim Harrison, Terry Tempest Williams (Introduction by), Joseph Bednarik (Editor)
$40.00
ISBN: 9781556595936
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Copper Canyon Press - December 7th, 2021

Legends of the Fall By Jim Harrison Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802126221
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - July 26th, 2016

True North By Jim Harrison Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802142061
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - July 22nd, 2005

Brown Dog By Jim Harrison Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780802122865
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - September 9th, 2014

Dalva By Jim Harrison Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802159472
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - April 5th, 2022

A Really Big Lunch: The Roving Gourmand on Food and Life By Jim Harrison Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802127662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - March 20th, 2018

Returning to Earth By Jim Harrison Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780802143310
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Grove Press - September 10th, 2007

The Woman Lit by Fireflies By Jim Harrison Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802143754
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - October 5th, 2008

The Great Leader: A Faux Mystery By Jim Harrison Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780802145987
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Grove Press - October 30th, 2012

Jim Harrison: Collected Ghazals By Jim Harrison, Denver Butson (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Jim Harrison, Denver Butson (Afterword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781556595929
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Copper Canyon Press - September 15th, 2020

The Big Seven By Jim Harrison Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802124661
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - March 8th, 2016