cover image Just Before Dark: Collected Nonfiction

Just Before Dark: Collected Nonfiction

Jim Harrison, Author Clark City Press $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-944439-30-2

Best known for his fiction, Harrison here sorts magazine pieces written over four decades. ``Food'' celebrates the pleasures of cooking, eating and drinking, with exuberant disdain for trendy health-consciousness. ``Travel and Sport'' defends hunting and fishing as time-honored, ecologically sound pursuits that, practiced responsibly, draw us closer to the natural world. ``Literary Matters'' includes book reviews and dissections of the author's own working methods. Harrison, who came of professional age in the 1960s, favors a casual, intimate journalistic style that reveals as much about himself as his topics. We learn about the loss of an eye when he was seven and the deaths of his father and sister when he was 19. While a few phrases and stories turn up more than once, and while some of the early-'70s sporting pieces display a hip swagger that now seems hilariously dated, the essays taken together suggest the life experience and philosophy that underpin such novels as Legends of the Fall and Dalva. (July)