Jim Harrison, the prolific author, poet and outdoorsman whose novella of the American frontier, “Legends of the Fall,” became a hit movie starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins, has died. He was 78.
- Harrison was a versatile writer who authored almost 40 books, including novels, collections of poems and eloquent essays about his passion for food.
- He was considered a master of the novella, a short novel or long short story, although he didn’t find mainstream success until later in his career.
- His rugged and deeply humane fiction often depicted complex men grappling with their place in the wilderness, including the forests of northern Michigan, where he grew up, and the wilds of Montana, his adopted home.
- Born in 1937 in Grayling, Michigan, Harrison was blinded in his left eye by an accident when he was 7.
- A restless adventurer as a young man, he once hitchhiked from Michigan to California to gaze at the Pacific Ocean.
- After graduating from Michigan State, he spent a year teaching English at Stony Brook in New York before deciding that academia wasn’t for him.
- Although Harrison never wrote big best-sellers, his work was deeply admired in literary circles. Among his most beloved novels and novellas are “Dalva,” “Julip,” “The Woman Lit by Fireflies” and “True North.”