Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

The Search for the Genuine

Nonfiction, 1970-2015

by Jim Harrison

The first general nonfiction title in thirty years from a giant of American letters, The Search for the Genuine is a sparkling, definitive collection of Jim Harrison’s essays and journalism—some never before published

  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Page Count 336
  • Publication Date September 13, 2022
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5721-8
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $28.00
  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Publication Date September 13, 2022
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5723-2
  • US List Price $28.00

New York Times–bestselling author Jim Harrison (1937–2016) was a writer with a poet’s economy of style and a trencherman’s appetites. Praised as a “national treasure” (Chicago Tribune) and published in twenty-seven languages, he was one of this country’s most beloved and critically acclaimed authors. Best known for his poetry and fiction such as Legends of the Fall, Dalva, and Returning to Earth, Harrison was also a prolific nonfiction writer, with columns running in Sports Illustrated and Esquire, and work in Outside, Field & Stream, and others. The first collection of Harrison’s general nonfiction in thirty years, The Search for the Genuine is a sparkling, definitive volume of essays and journalism — from the near-classic to the never-published.

With his trademark ribald humor, compassion, and full-throated zest for life, The Search for the Genuine pays tribute to writers from Bukowski to Neruda to Peter Matthiessen, and examines the distance between literary reputation and the work itself; he attains something like satori in the field hunting grouse; he reports on Yellowstone for the park’s hundredth anniversary, when he was merely a tourist to the part of Montana he would eventually call home; he takes to the open sea in pursuit of roosterfish, marlin, tarpon, and, once, to observe a scientific mission tagging sharks; he delivers a heartbreaking essay on life—and, for those attempting to cross in the ever-more dangerous gaps, death—on the US-Mexico border. Always he comes back to the spirit and to connection with the natural world and the people who sustained him; throughout the book his feeling for the American landscape rings out.

Lovingly introduced by acclaimed novelist, poet, and essayist Luis Alberto Urrea, The Search for the Genuine is a feast that captures a lifetime of reading, writing, and living to the fullest, from a true “American original” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Tags Essays

Praise for The Search for the Genuine:

“Harrison may be gone, but his writing speaks to a force larger than life: it continues to teach and inform years later, which is all a writer could ever really dream of.”Literary Hub

“Spanning 45 years, this new bevy of essays and musings bursts with insight, adventure, and well-lived experiences . . . his writing is always and truly ‘genuine.’ Forthright, perpetually curious, and compassionate, Harrison remains wholly compelling and readers will be grateful that this buoyant, observant, and caring writer took time away from his sublime poetry to create these enriching essays.”Booklist, starred review

“Endlessly charming . . . An essential installment in the Harrison canon.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Harrison devotees will eat this up.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“His fiction favored brevity, but Harrison’s nonfiction is as expansive and undisciplined as the writer’s many pursuits . . . In tracing his own appetites, Harrison comes to grips with life and concludes that the best you can do is live it voraciously.”—Bill Heavey, Wall Street Journal

“A rollicking but sentimental tribute to a life wholly lived.”—CJ Lotz, Garden & Gun

“Harrison’s poetic voice and storyteller’s gift are strong in each of these pieces. With sections on writing and writer friends; hunting and hunting dogs; Michigan, Montana, and other favorite haunts; and, of course, fishing, the book makes the reader feel like they are sitting on the next barstool, listening to a master raconteur weave his tales. Harrison’s voice is, as always, filled with such a passion for living that it’s difficult to believe he’s gone. This collection is a welcome addition to the disbelief.”—Marc BeaudinBig Sky Journal

“[The] great chronicler of America and her natural beauty . . . [Harrison] lived a singular life, a true American original, and The Search for the Genuine offers a glimpse into a life lived on the margins but at the center of what matters.”—Alex Perez, Return

“Over the course of his long career as a writer, Jim Harrison wrote eloquently about the American outdoors in countless ways. The Search for the Genuine assembles 45 years’ worth of his nonfiction, covering subjects ranging from Yellowstone National Park to searching for sharks. Looking for a lyrical, meditative take on the grandest subjects out there? Look no further.”—Tobias Carroll, InsideHook

“Rich with Harrison’s consummate humor and characteristic empathy.”—Jana Hoops, Jackson Clarion-Ledger

“Harrison was one of America’s most genuine writers and his ‘Search’ ruminates about love, literature, hunting, fishing, border life and the magic of place.”—Bruce Dinges, Arizona Daily Star  

“You will see the world in a different light and soon realize you are reading the work of a genius. Many readers will also learn he was a lot like you (and me).” —Bill Castanier, CityPulse

“Exuberant, startlingly original nonfiction . . . I’m taking its essays one by one . . . just to have his inimitable voice in my head for as long as possible.”—Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

“The Harrison who emerges here is recognizable, but also useful, reminding readers of the value of curiosity and range, whether in miles or mindset.” —Glen Young, Petoskey News-Review

Praise for Jim Harrison:

“Among the most indelible American novelists of the last hundred years.”—Dwight Garner, New York Times

“Harrison is truly one of those writers whose books are hard to put down.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

“One of the few truly high-test males who’ve passed through the eye of the needle.”—Louise Erdich, Ms.

“[Harrison] can sweep a reader off her feet with his wordplay, even if he is just describing the weather.”—Bernadette Murphy, Los Angeles Times

“Extravagantly talented, critically adored, more famous than most literary novelists . . . Jim Harrison gave his life to [writing], and American literature is richer as a result.”—Gregory Cowles, New York Times Book Review