Jim Harrison, one of the greatest American authors and best known for his novella “Legends of the Fall”, died at the age of 78 on Saturday at his home in Patagonia, Ariz. The cause of his death has yet to be confirmed.
He was a shooter of all kinds of animals during his stay at Patagonia. He had a great love for the wildlife. He led an authorly life, walking, driving ,cooking, smoking, hunting, drinking and writing.
His recent book of fiction, “The Ancient Minstrel,” was published this month. A book of poetry, “Dead Man’s Float,” was published this year, NYT reports.
“His books glisten with love of the world, and are as grounded as Thoreau’s in the particulars of American place — its rivers and thickets, its highways and taverns,” reviewer Will Blythe wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 2007 of Mr. Harrison’s novel “Returning to Earth.” He added, “Bawdily and with unrelenting gusto, Harrison’s 40 years’ worth of writing explores what constitutes a good life, both aesthetically and morally, on this planet.”
His prose seemed to be lyrical, jazzier and filled with gentle tenderness.
He was an adventurous driver and loved to drink.“Driving out of the woods I felt a new and curious calm but doubted it would last,” the narrator of Mr. Harrison’s first novel, “Wolf” (1971), says when returns reluctantly to civilized world.
“When I reached the main road I would stop at a gas station and make a reservation at a hotel in Ishpeming and when I got there I knew I would shower and go down to the bar and drink myself into the comatose state I knew I deserved. Maybe King David drank heavily in his canopied tent the night before battle.”
Harrison’s author friends included Tom McGuane, Phil Caputo, and Jack Nicholson, Yahoo News reports.
Lines from Harrison’s poem “Barking” will always be remembered: “The moon comes up/The moon goes down/This is to inform you/that I didn’t die young.”