Jim Harrison is one of our finest writers, whose vivid, tender, and deeply felt fictions have won him acclaim as an American master, in particular as perhaps the finest practitioner of the novella form now writing. His latest highly acclaimed volume of novellas, The Summer He Didn’t Die
, is a sparkling and exuberant collection about love, the senses, and family, no matter how untraditional.
Witty, ribald, and joyous, The Summer He Didn’t Die
is a sheer celebration of life and all its magic. In the title novella, “The Summer He Didn’t Die,” Brown Dog, a hapless Michigan Indian loved by Harrison
’s readers, is trying to parent his two stepchildren and take care of his family’s health on meager resourcesit helps a bit that his charms are irresistible to the new dentist in town. “Republican Wives” is a wicked satire on the sexual neuroses of the right, the emptiness of a life lived for the status quo, and the irrational power of love that, when thwarted, can turn so easily into an urge to murder. And “Tracking” is a gorgeous meditation on Harrison
’s fascination with place, telling his own familiar mythology through the places his life has seen and the intellectual loves he has known in a vivid stream of consciousness that transfigures how we look at our own surroundings. The Star Tribune
) has said that the book is an “excellent trio of stories . . . Jim Harrison cannot write too often . . . vivid, deft, and poetic storytelling . . . [and] a complex compound of earthiness and erudition.” With wit as sharp and prose as lush as any Harrison
has yet written, The Summer He Didn’t Die
is a resonant, warm, and joyful ode to our journey on this earth.