The English Major
Written by Jim Harrison
Publication Date September 01, 2009
Jim Harrison has been called "a writer with immortality in him" by London's Sunday Times, and the New York Times Book Review has written that "[his] storytelling instincts are nearly flawless." Harrison's novel Returning to Earth was hailed by The Plain Dealer as an artistic achievement worthy of Faulkner.
The English Major is a wryly funny novel that sparkles with the generous humanity of Harrison's vision. In it, he sends Cliff -- a sixty-something former teacher, divorced and robbed of his farm by a real-estate shark of an ex-wife -- on a road trip across America. Armed with a childhood puzzle and a mission to rename all the states and state birds, Cliff's adventures take him through a whirlwind affair with a former student to a snake farm in Arizona owned by an old classmate to the high-octane existence of his big-time movie producer son in San Francisco. The English Major is the map of a man's journey into -- and out of -- himself, and it is vintage Harrison: reflective and sharp with wicked wit.
Selected for the New York Times - 100 Notable Books 2008
Jim Harrison is the author of more than twenty-five books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The winner of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship, he has had work published in twenty two languages. He divides his time between Michigan, Montana, and Arizona.
"...funny, spirited...[Harrison] is consistently witty and engaging as he drives home his timeless theme: that change can be beneficial at any point in life." Publishers Weekly
"...oddly mysterious...Harrison creates delicious comic tension." New York Times
"A read-aloud-to-your-bedmate funny book...There isn't a false note...[Jim Harrison] writes like a dream..." National Post
"Harrison is as wild and wonderful as ever." Chronicle Herald
"Harrison's new novel...is as comfortably approachable as a creaky wooden swing on a farmhouse porch...It reminds you that fresh soil can be found below the most well pounded paths, that poetry can be found in even the most prosaic of predicaments." Toronto Star
"Reconsideration of a life in ruins is terrifically funny and vintage Jim Harrison...a ruminative, sensitive portrayal of a man forced by circumstance to look back at how he's lived his life...a joy to read...a heady, intellectual, gutsy and wise depiction of a man wrestling with grief..." Edmonton Journal