Monday, April 04, 2016

IN MEMORIAM - Author Jim Harrison 1937-2016

"Remembering author Jim Harrison in his own words" PBS NewsHour 3/28/2016


SUMMARY:  Jim Harrison, a prolific and influential writer of fiction and poetry, was known for his preoccupation with rural American life and his eclectic professional pursuits; he'd been everything from a Hollywood screenwriter to a food writer for Esquire Magazine.  Harrison died over the weekend at age 78.  Jeffrey Brown looks back on his 2009 interview with Harrison at his home in Montana.

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  Jim Harrison was a prolific writer of fiction and poetry, most often of men and women in the drama of rural America and the natural world.  Among his best known works are “Legends of the Fall,” “Dalva,” and the more recent “Brown Dog.”

A new novel, “The Ancient Minstrel,” came out just this month, and a new volume of poetry, “Dead Man's Float,” earlier this year.  He'd been a Hollywood screenwriter, a food writer for “Esquire” magazine, a man of many pursuits who lived large and died this weekend at age 78.

In 2009, I visited Harrison at his home in Montana.  Here's a look back.

JIM HARRISON, Author:  Other than fishing and a little bird-hunting, all I do is write.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Harrison is a determined outsider, in all senses.

JIM HARRISON:  You really get a hang of the country, rather than be stuck in what I call the geo-piety of the Eastern Seaboard.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Careful, because that's where I am.

JIM HARRISON:  I know it, but you deserve it, too.  But it does happen.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Now 71, Jim Harrison is a Falstaffian figure; blind in his left eye from a childhood accident, chain-smoking his American Spirit cigarettes, part wild man, part cultivated literary lion, who peppers his speech with talk of birds and great poets of the past.

It's poetry, in fact, that has remained Harrison's first love.  His new collection is called “In Search of Small Gods.”

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