The Search for the Genuine: Nonfiction, 1970–2015 by Jim Harrison


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The first general nonfiction title in thirty years from a giant of American letters, The Search for the Genuine is a sparkling, definitive collection of Jim Harrison’s essays and journalism—some never before published

New York Times bestselling author Jim Harrison (1937-2016) was a writer with a poet’s economy of style and trencherman’s appetites and ribald humor.

In The Search for the Genuine, a collection of new and previously published essays, the giant of letters muses on everything from grouse hunting fishing to Zen Buddhism and matters of the spirit, including reported pieces on Yellowstone and shark-tagging in the open ocean, commentary on writers from Bukowski to Neruda to Peter Matthiessen, and a heartbreaking essay on life — and, for those attempting to cross in the ever-more-dangerous gaps, death — on the US/Mexico border.

Written with Harrison’s trademark humor, compassion, and full-throated zest for life, this chronicle of a modern bon vivant is a feast for fans who may think they know Harrison’s nonfiction, from a true “American original” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Praise for The Search for the Genuine:

“Harrison may be gone, but his writing speaks to a force larger than life: it continues to teach and inform years later, which is all a writer could ever really dream of.”Literary Hub

“Spanning 45 years, this new bevy of essays and musings bursts with insight, adventure, and well-lived experiences . . . his writing is always and truly ‘genuine.’ Forthright, perpetually curious, and compassionate, Harrison remains wholly compelling and readers will be grateful that this buoyant, observant, and caring writer took time away from his sublime poetry to create these enriching essays.”Booklist, starred review

“Endlessly charming . . . An essential installment in the Harrison canon.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Harrison devotees will eat this up.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“His fiction favored brevity, but Harrison’s nonfiction is as expansive and undisciplined as the writer’s many pursuits . . . In tracing his own appetites, Harrison comes to grips with life and concludes that the best you can do is live it voraciously.”—Bill Heavey, Wall Street Journal

“A rollicking but sentimental tribute to a life wholly lived.”—CJ Lotz, Garden & Gun

“Harrison’s poetic voice and storyteller’s gift are strong in each of these pieces. With sections on writing and writer friends; hunting and hunting dogs; Michigan, Montana, and other favorite haunts; and, of course, fishing, the book makes the reader feel like they are sitting on the next barstool, listening to a master raconteur weave his tales. Harrison’s voice is, as always, filled with such a passion for living that it’s difficult to believe he’s gone. This collection is a welcome addition to the disbelief.”—Marc BeaudinBig Sky Journal

“[The] great chronicler of America and her natural beauty . . . [Harrison] lived a singular life, a true American original, and The Search for the Genuine offers a glimpse into a life lived on the margins but at the center of what matters.”—Alex Perez, Return

“Over the course of his long career as a writer, Jim Harrison wrote eloquently about the American outdoors in countless ways. The Search for the Genuine assembles 45 years’ worth of his nonfiction, covering subjects ranging from Yellowstone National Park to searching for sharks. Looking for a lyrical, meditative take on the grandest subjects out there? Look no further.”—Tobias Carroll, InsideHook