In contemporary fiction there is no writer who is more associated with the novella than Jim Harrison. Since 1979 he has produced five volumes of them, LEGENDS OF THE FALL being the most well-known. The two novellas that comprise his sixth collection, THE RIVER SWIMMER, reveal his enduring skill at this challenging form. Harrison delivers two absorbing studies of men at the opposite ends of adult life, noteworthy both for an absence of illusion and a sympathy that never slips into sentimentality. The stories revisit some of Harrison’s habitual concerns --- the world of nature, Native American myth, the sensual pleasures of food and the persistence of sexual desire --- in his characteristically rugged and entertaining style.
The volume takes its title from the shorter of the two entries, but it’s the first, “T