The River Swimmer

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Jim Harrison
The River Swimmer

Michigan author Jim Harrison’s latest book contains 2 novellas – The River Swimmer, which is the title of the book, and The Land of Unlikeness.  For each novella, Harrison returns to his native Michigan for the setting.

In The Land of Unlikeness, an art history academic and one-time artist returns to the northern Michigan farmhouse where he was raised to care for his elderly mother.  While there, he renews a relationship with his former high school sweetheart who lives just down the road.  He also begins painting again after a break of many years, and mends a fractured relationship with his grown daughter.  Harrison portrays northern Michigan with its woods, fields and streams as only someone who has hunted and fished and explored the area can.

In the book’s  other novella, The River Swimmer, there is a touch of magic as a farm boy is irresistibly drawn to the water, and uses swimming as an escape.  He swims the rivers of northern Michigan and the Great Lakes, meeting people along the way, but preferring being in the water to being on land.   

Both stories show Harrison’s love of the area where he grew up.  Even though he now lives in the American west, he returns to Michigan often in his writing. Check our catalog.

Catherine T., Reference

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