If you haven’t read Jim Harrison lately, you should. Just to fertilize your mind with elegant possibilities of thought, if nothing else. He is the author of “Legends of the Fall”, the wonderful movie starring Brad Pitt. He has written many other books, including “A Good Day to Die” and poetry, essays and a children’s book, “The Boy Who Ran to the Woods.”
Since we are all more or less confined to indoor activity, instead of going to the library, which is closed, or the bookstore which has the potential of exposure, I have been rummaging through my bookshelves. The other day, I noticed this book, titled “The Woman Lit by Fireflies” purchased and not read.
The book contains three novellas; “Brown Dog”, “Sunset Limited” and “The Woman Lit by Fireflies”. Each is a blend of personal stories with unforgettable characters.
“Brown Dog” is about an independent man living isolated most of the time near Lake Superior, making an odd sort of living diving for shipwrecks and bodies within. Of course, civilization has to intrude in the form of old girlfriends, archeologists and the law.
“Sunset Limited” is about a group of old friends from the 60’s forced to reunite in order to save one of their youthful band who has continued to fight the establishment in more extreme ways and is about to be executed in a Mexican jail while the rest have gone off to live very successful and semi-successful lives.
“The Woman Lit by Fireflies” is about a wife who flees an abusive relationship and spends a night in a cornfield examining her life. The narrative swings back and forth between internal musings and philosophical struggles that sometimes feel like you are reading about her life as it actually happens.
Characters are the soul of Harrison’s writings. Each of his characters grow as he weaves them in and out of the intricacies of human existence. A fun and amazing book to read.