cover image The Woman Lit by Fireflies

The Woman Lit by Fireflies

Jim Harrison, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $19.95 (247p) ISBN 978-0-395-48884-3

Michigan poet and novelist Harrison ( Sundog ; Dalva ) spins three novellas in this volume. In ``Brown Dog,'' with its traits of an epic tall tale, B.D. is a rough-hewn, hard-drinking diver for an illegal scavenging firm who dredges up the body of an Indian from Lake Superior. Intending to sell the cadaver to a collector, he instead develops a filial bond with the Indian. B.D.'s weakness for fine women further entangles him with urbane anthropologist Shelley, yet he hankers for Rose, his earthy first love who threw pig swill at him. ``Sunset Limited,'' contoured like a thriller, reunites four old friends, a ``wild bunch'' of '60s radicals once jailed for wrecking draft records, who, settled and affluent, must reassess their lives and relationships when called on to rescue an unregenerate ex-cohort from a Mexican jail. The title story depicts Clare, 50, in abrupt flight from her bigoted husband, hiding in an Iowa cornfield during a soul-searching night. In each novella the past rises up to challenge these deeply probed characters, forcing them to make moral choices. (Aug.)