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The Farmer's Daughter Paperback – Nov 20 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Anansi International (Nov. 20 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088784961X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887849619
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 20.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #725,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

...Harrison is a master at subtly depicting the politics of everyday life...His characters are tautly drawn and leave much to the imagination. Nonetheless, they're people to root for, folks who'll stick in your head long past the denouement of each story. (L Magazine 2010-01-10)

By stalking society's hinterlands in his fiction, Harrison reminds us of the universality of human experience. As marginal as his characters appear, he awakes in readers a genuine compassion for them. In Harrison's generous, insightful and slightly offbeat world, even werewolves get a shot at redemption. (Seattle Times 2010-01-10)

Harrison has the uncanny ability to find beauty, poignancy and humor in his characters' miseries and misfortunes. (San Francisco Chronicle 2010-03-10)

He offers readers such a sense of place that it all seems like home. And characters so vivid and real that The Farmer's Daughter becomes like a chronicle of actual acquaintances, like reading a book describing dear friends. (Lincoln Journal Star 2010-02-10)

In our often overpacked lives, this isn't a bad lesson to take away from Harrison's fiction, always as exhilarating as a breath of fresh air. (NPR 2010-01-10)

Jim Harrison is a master of the novella form, and his talents shine brightly in two of these three stories. (James P. Lenfestey Star Tribune 2010-01-10)

That Harrison pulls off this trick without losing any of the emotional and aesthetic nuances of those experiences is what makes him so much more than a mere picaresque author. (Toronto Star 2010-02-10) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

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.

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Amazon.com: 20 reviews
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
One of my top five best books of the year Dec 2 2009
By Richard L. Pangburn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of Jim Harrison's most satisfying books in many years. If you intend to read it, you might want to avoid all reviews and comments and simply read it fresh. If you need more incentive to read it, then read on.

The title, THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER, resonating with the many cliched variations of the joke, is a fine choice for the interplay of masculine/feminine in these three novellas, entirely different, yet linked by more than Patsy Cline's rendition of the Roger Miller song of alienation, "The Last Word In Lonesome Is Me."

The opening sentence of the first novella nails down the sense of alienation: "She was born peculiar, or so she thought." Her favorite idol is Montgomery Clift in "The Misfits." The first variation on the-farmer's-daughter is a coming of age story.

In the second novella, Harrison's everyman/Native American Brown Dog is the middle man, existentially and humorously muddling his way across, playing his part in creation but agnostic to the meaning of it all. When he hears "Who are we that God is mindful of us?" he turns the question around and says, "Who is God that we are mindful of Him?"

Harrison's symbols resonate on theme. Gretchen tells Brown Dog that they should go for three times at creation, "three, not two." She finds the creation act "bearable" but wants to stop at three. Brown Dog has "the absurd feeling of a reverse Christmas in May" and recalls the holiday line, "The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow." He flops down on a trash bag "to make a snow angel."

The third roughly 100-page-novella in here is the more spiritual, a vampire story of altered consciousness, alienated but advancing toward love, at last remarking how wonderful it is to finally make love with someone you actually love.

The first novella opens with a line of alienation. The closing of the third novella ends with the protagonist recognizing the interconnectedness of living things, the ME of LonesoME diminishing in the evolution of the self toward empathy, a recurring point in Jim Harrison's Buddhism/naturalism worldview.

There is an epilogue to the third novella in which the protagonist encounters a dead bear and says "at least for a moment I felt as if we were cousins."

Jim Harrison's humor in here is a hoot. Somehow, I have to fit this onto my list of the top five best books of the year.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Had high hopes... Jan. 6 2010
By John D. Blase - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of Harrison and the man's a genius. The East coast literati have continually overlooked him and he doesn't give a damn. Love it. I didn't believe Dalva could be topped and then along came Returning to Earth...it could be the perfect novel.

The English Major was o.k., but a little disappointing. I had high hopes that big Jim would be back in rhythm for The Farmer's Daughter, especially with the hint of another Brown Dog story. Please hear me, I've underlined plenty of words and phrases the likes that only Harrison can conceive, but I believe this one fell short. As another reviewer hinted, Legends set the bar for me on novellas and this one just came under the bar. As Jim as written, life is like that sometimes. I'll still buy the next Harrison, even if its full of empty pages we're supposed to draw bears and women and rattlesnakes on.

His poetry lately is excellent...maybe that's where he's finding grace in these later years, with his first love - poetry.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Deja vu...all over again Dec 30 2009
By Jim Tenuto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jim Harrison's works have always been among my favorites. Legends of the Fall is a novella that stands with Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Dalva one of the finest novels I have ever read. His poetry is masterful, muscular, spiritual, naturalistic. He is an American treasure, one of our most revered authors. In his books people actually breathe fresh air. They hunt, ride horses, camp, fly-fish, hike, living an active life. These are the books for the drawing rooms or the halls of academia. Harrison's characters have lives.

The Farmer's Daughter is a disappointing effort. Perhaps Harrison has mined his rich vein too often. The same bowl of menudo and Patsy Cline's "The Last Word in Lonesome is Me" find their way into each of the three novellas. The novella that gives the collection its title covers well-trodden Harrison themes. As in many of his books and novellas a piece of property is inherited by the protagonist, giving a sense of freedom and isolation. The second novella features Brown Dog, Harrison's Native-American alter-ego, a libidinous ne'er-do-well attempting to rescue his profoundly damaged daughter from the clutches of the state bureaucracy. The third novella, the best in this weak collection, returns to another of Harrison's trusty themes, werewolves. (In his memoir Harrison confesses that one night he's convinced he himself turned into a wolf! He also mentions in the introduction to that memoir that memory is a funny thing and he couldn't vouch for even his own veracity.)

Don't let this be your first introduction to Jim Harrison. Nearly everything else he has written is better.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Confidence and Gravitas Jan. 13 2010
By Cary B. Barad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Superior writing and dramatic narrative with strains of empathy and subtle humor rarely seen in modern fiction. This author writes with confidence and gravitas. A real contribution that should please a wide range of readers--from the mainstream to those looking for something a bit different. Highly recommended. I was so impressed that I plan to look into some of Harrison's earlier work.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Werewolf Be Gone Aug. 18 2010
By M. Marlene Smith - Published on Amazon.com
I went into this book fully expecting to like the werewolf story best and it actually ended up my least favorite. The title story and "Brown Dog Redux" I felt were far superior but perhaps I am a prude for finding descriptive sex between a twelve-year-old boy and a grown woman disturbing and repugnant.

The inside flap of the book jacket describes "The Farmer's Daughter" as tragic and "Brown Dog Redux" as more humurous. While there is a lot of tragedy in the title story, I also found a great deal of humor which caused me to laugh out loud - such as Sarah's obsession with revenge on a rapist. Her reasoning and actions concerning this nasty event (rape) had me cheering her on in her mission to off the perpetrator and the planning that went into it was indeed funny to me at times. No, the rape is not funny of course, but Harrison's depiction of her thoughts and actions were at times very funny.

Brown Dog's story I found to be incredibly tragic and I found little humor in this story of a half-breed losing his little girl because the county deems him unfit to raise her due to her fetal alcohol syndrome and his propensity for trying to have sex with nearly every woman he sees. I found this story particularly poignant, especially B.D.'s obvious love of the lakes and woods of his native Michigan. Harrison is a master at describing nature.

As I said the third story didn't do anything for me though it was well-written. I can just only take so much of a kid having brutal sex with grown women.

Harrison is a favorite writer of mine. I view most of his tales as men's stories, which doesn't detract from them for me, but maybe the werewolf ought to retire...


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