Jim Harrison is the author of three volumes of novellas, Legends of the Fall, The Woman Lit by Fireflies, and Julip; seven novels, Wolf, A Good Day to Die, Farmer, Warlock, Sundog, Dalva, and The Road Home; seven collections of poetry; and a collection of nonfiction, Just Before Dark. He has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in northern Michigan and Arizon
Dalva has traveled the world doing a variety of jobs, alternately haunted and driven by men: a half-breed Sioux, her half-brother, whose child she bore, and gave up for adoption, at 16; an obsessed great-grandfather, who came to Nebraska as a missionary; an alcoholic college professor who uses her as a crutch as he blunders toward tenure. The reconciliation of the various elements in her life is precipitated by a return to her Midwestern roots, where she acknowledges her family's eccentricities and her own wasted years. In the process a vivid panorama of Nebraska history is revealed through her own poignant memories and the tormented journals of her great-grandfather. A compelling novel, essential for fiction collections.Thomas L. Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale Lib.
Publishers Weekly Entertaining, moving, and memorable...a
cast of fascinating characters.
San Francisco Chronicle A fascinating novel about an American woman...Harrison uses his pen as a sword to right wrongs and settle scores....He takes bigger risks, letting go of old habits and surrendering to his own impassioned imagination.
The Boston Globe Harrison's stories move with random power and reach in the manner of Melville and Faulkner.
The London Sunday Times Jim Harrison is a writer with immortality in him.
The Los Angeles Times Book Review Jim Harrison's Dalva is the story of a remarkable modern woman's search for her son....Harrison beautifully conveys Dalva's essential femininity...Dalva asserts that she has never been seduced -- has always, subtly, done the seducing of lovers herself...Harrison's Dalva may well seduce you, too.
The New York Times Book Review Harrison's storytelling instincts are nearly flawless...The people in Dalva reemerge as full-blooded individuals who almost incidentally embody much of the innocence, carelessness, and urgency that played so large a part in the settling of this country. Best of all, perhaps, are Mr. Harrison's descriptions of the land -- the untamed deserts, plains, forests, and arroyos of what was once the Western frontier...tough but rhapsodic language.
The Washington Post Book World Dalva...is that rare fictional creation, a character whom the reader dearly would love to meet.
Louise Erdich Chicago Tribune Fascinating...a work of humor and a unified lament....Voices that cut through time and cross the barriers of culture and gender to achieve a work in chorus ...there is no putting aside Dalva until the time bombs go off, the identities are revealed, and the skeletons almost literally tumble from the closets...Dalva is suspended in its own beauty...a book to...read with trust and exuberance.
Louise Erdrich The Chicago Tribune Monumental...Bighearted, an unabashedly romantic love story...There is no putting aside Dalva.
A cast of fascinating characters populates the Nebraska farmland where Harrison's fine new novel is set. First among these is Dalva Northridge, a passionate and unconventional woman who, at 45, begins searching for the illegitimate son she bore 30 years earlier. While flashbacks explore Dalva's teenage romance with her son's father, a half-Sioux youth, the story is carried forward through Dalva's current relationships with her wealthy family and with Michael, a history professor. The middle portion of the book, narrated by the alcoholic and debauched Michael, brings a shift in mood. Michael, who is living at the Northridge family ranch while researching journals left by Dalva's great-grandfather, proceeds toward his own incapacitation at a Rabelaisian pitch. Woven through Michael's narrative are excerpts from the journals, which have a great relevance to the history of Nebraska's Native Americans. Harrison (Sundog) offers almost an embarrassment of riches here. Digressing stories of a large number of characterswhile they add to the rich texture of the novelsometimes deflect attention from Dalva herself. That is a small caveat, however, about this lyrical and atmospheric book, which is entertaining, moving and memorable. (March)