The River Swimmer by Jim Harrison
Novellas

78%

5 Critic Reviews

The prose is seamless, the sentiment easy to take, and the characters and the storylines are finely drawn and executed. Mr. Harrison is a fine writer in top form.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

Jim Harrison is one of America’s most beloved and critically-acclaimed authors—on a par with American literary greats like Richard Ford, Anne Tyler, Robert Stone, Russell Banks, and Ann Beattie. His latest collection of novellas, The River Swimmer, is Harrison at his most memorable: a brilliant rendering of two men striving to find their way in the world, written with freshness, abundant wit, and profound humanity.

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 is one of the most cherished and important writers at work today.
 

About Jim Harrison

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Jim Harrison is the author of over thirty books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including Legends of the Fall, The Road Home, Returning to Earth, and The Summer He Didn't Die. A member of American Academy of Arts and Letters and winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he has had work published in twenty-seven languages. Harrison lives in Montana and Arizona.
 
Published January 8, 2013 by Grove Press. 210 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The River Swimmer
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Ron Carlson on Jan 18 2013

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.

Read Full Review of The River Swimmer: Novellas | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Jan 15 2013

Mr. Harrison has wrung an enormous amount out of these preoccupations, among others, and if “The River Swimmer” is any indication, he remains at the height of his powers.

Read Full Review of The River Swimmer: Novellas | See more reviews from NY Times

NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Alan Cheuse on Jan 28 2013

...I have to say, it's quite a struggle, no two ways about it.

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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Alan Cheuse on Jan 09 2013

...deepens and broadens his already openhearted and smart-minded sense of the way we live now, and what we might do to improve it.

Read Full Review of The River Swimmer: Novellas | See more reviews from NPR

NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by James Rose on Jan 08 2013

The prose is seamless, the sentiment easy to take, and the characters and the storylines are finely drawn and executed. Mr. Harrison is a fine writer in top form.

Read Full Review of The River Swimmer: Novellas | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Reader Rating for The River Swimmer
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 132 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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