It has been over five decades since Jim Harrison began publishing poems and stories gleaned from his experiences living in Northern Michigan. Born in Grayling in 1937, Harrison attended Haslett High School and later graduated from Michigan State University with a Master’s in comparative literature. He would work briefly as an assistant professor at State University of New York at Stony Brook before embarking full time as a writer.
Jim Harrison returned to Northern Michigan where he became a legendary figure in Leelanau County. Beginning in the late 60’s, he frequented local bars and cemented his reputation as a hard drinker with a lust for women and fine food. He would push the envelope of modern writing to create masterpieces of rural life on the fringe of society. He fished the streams of Northern Michigan with Thomas McGuane, Dan Gerber and Russell Chatham and a revolving cast of misfits who would come to visit his farm where he lived until moving to Montana in 2002. Novels such as “Wolf”, “Farmer” and “Dalva” garnered Harrison well earned comparisons to Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner. His work gained the attention of Hollywood, but his stories remain an acquired taste for many. Movie versions of “Wolf” and “Legends of the Fall” have been mildly successful but have missed the mark with audiences hoping to see his rough hewn characters brought to life.
In recent years Jim Harrison published novels and poetry with ever increasing frequency until his death in March of 2016. What will his legacy be? That story is yet to be written, but comparisons to Ernest Hemingway could be an indication that he will leave a large footprint across the path of American literature.
Landmark Books celebrates the work of Jim Harrison and offer a large selection of rare autographed and limited edition copies. Stop by the shop, call or email us about our current titles.