Friday, November 10, 2006

Stacking the Days

I have an advance reading copy of Jim Harrison's new novel, Returning to Earth (Atlantic Monthly Press, January, 2007). The novel revisits some of the characters from Harrison's remarkable True North (Grove Press, 2005). I'm about halfway through the book and will have more to say when I'm finished. So far, though, I think this is his best fiction since Dalva (Dutton, 1988).

November in Michigan always makes me think of The Theory & Practice of Rivers, a long, meditative poem Harrison wrote in the mid-1980's. "The days are stacked against what we think we are," he wrote. On my better days, I walk out into the too-cold air, look around at the bare trees, and admit that it is true.

This weekend I'll be raking leaves, building (more) bookshelves, and pulling my poetry manuscript into some final order before sending it back to The University of Arkansas Press.

We also have a birthday to celebrate. Liam, our youngest, turns 3 on Saturday. Happy Birthday, Liam! I haven't introduced the several characters (Marcia, Carlos, Elliot, Hannah, Liam, three dogs, two cats, etc.) who will be populating this blog; I will make work of this over the next few weeks.

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