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Catching Up with Jim Harrison

2009 May 19
by Jordan Lindberg
Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison

Long gone from Northern Michigan and his farm on the Leelanau County, Jim Harrison now resides in Patagonia, Arizona, and Livingston, Montana where he continues his writing life. Harrison remains, however, a favorite writer among the hook-and-bullet set of Michigan, and also remains Michigan’s most famous literary son. His work also continues to captivate the New York Review of Books crowd, and reviews of both The English Major and Returning to Earth have recently appeared.

What brings this to mind, now of all times, is an interview with Mr. Harrison that Charles McGrath conducted on his visit to Harrison’s adobe casita on Sonoita Creek in Patagonia, Arizona two seasons back. I missed the interview the first time around, but found it on the web and thought it was worth sharing.

The inteview is classic Harrison and demonstrates that, now in his early 70s and retired from screenwriting, he continues to enjoy “the pleasures of the hard-worn life.” His topics range from his life in novels, to hunting, to cooking, to the beauty of the Arizonia landscape.

“Writers go out to Hollywood for the same reason stockbrokers go into business, and that’s greed … Even when they’re cheating you, they’re cheating you at a level that’s unheard of in academe, say. But I finally quit because I didn’t want to die in that suckhole.”

The essay also includes a link to a fine receipe for Jim Harrison’s Mesquite Roasted Doves and Linda Harrison’s egg and Gruyère cheese polenta. As Harrison notes, on this we have no choice: “Eat or die.”

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