Two outstanding late novellas from one of America’s most beloved and critically acclaimed authors.
A brilliant rendering of two men striving to find their way in the world, written with freshness, abundant wit, and profound humanity, The River Swimmer is Jim Harrison at his most memorable.
In The Land of Unlikeness, sixty-year-old art history academic Clive a failed artist, divorced and grappling with the vagaries of his declining years reluctantly returns to his family’s Michigan farmhouse to visit his aging mother. The return to familiar territory triggers a jolt of renewal—of ardor for his high school love, of his relationship with his estranged daughter, and of his own lost love of painting. In Water Baby, Harrison ventures into the magical as an Upper Peninsula farm boy is irresistibly drawn to the water as an escape, and sees otherworldly creatures there. Faced with the injustice and pressure of coming of age, he takes to the river and follows its siren song all the way across Lake Michigan.
The River Swimmer is a striking portrait of two richly-drawn, profoundly human characters, and an exceptional reminder of why Jim Harrison remains one of America’s most cherished and important writers, on a par with such literary greats as Richard Ford, Anne Tyler, Robert Stone, Russell Banks, and Ann Beattie.
“Trenchant and visionary . . . Harrison is a writer of the body, which he celebrates as the ordinary, essential and wondrous instrument by which we measure the world. Without it, there is no philosophy. And with it, of course, philosophy can be a rocky test. . . . I could feel Jim Harrison grinning . . . in his glorious novella The River Swimmer.” —The New York Times Book Review