The English MajorBook - 2008
Jim Harrison has been called "a writer with immortality in him" by London's Sunday Times, and the New York Times Book Review has written that "[his] storytelling instincts are nearly flawless." Harrison's novel Returning to Earth was hailed by The Plain Dealer as an artistic achievement worthy of Faulkner.
The English Major is a wryly funny novel that sparkles with the generous humanity of Harrison's vision. In it, he sends Cliff -- a sixty-something former teacher, divorced and robbed of his farm by a real-estate shark of an ex-wife -- on a road trip across America. Armed with a childhood puzzle and a mission to rename all the states and state birds, Cliff's adventures take him through a whirlwind affair with a former student to a snake farm in Arizona owned by an old classmate to the high-octane existence of his big-time movie producer son in San Francisco. The English Major is the map of a man's journey into -- and out of -- himself, and it is vintage Harrison: reflective and sharp with wicked wit.