Rediscover: Legends of the Fall

Jim Harrison, the prolific fiction writer, essayist and poet, died last week at age 78. His mountain man persona clothed a fiery intellect, as sensitive as his curiosity was broad and appetites numerous. Harrison's interests were many: food, guns, the outdoors, sex, a range of masculine pursuits that echoed Hemingway, though his writing had none of the Hemingway's sparseness. Harrison's love of poetry led to several volumes of work, the last of which, Dead Man's Float, came out early this year. His greatest commercial successes came from novella collections, the last of which, The Ancient Minstrel, was released March 1.

Harrison published more than 30 books in total. Perhaps his most famous title, "Legends of the Fall," is a 1979 novella Harrison helped adapt into a 1994 film directed by Edward Zwick (Glory; The Last Samurai). Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Aidan Quinn star in a story about three brothers raised on the plains of rural Montana during the early 20th century. The film won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography. "Legends of the Fall" is the titular novella in a collection alongside two others--"Revenge" (which was also made into a film) and "The Man Who Gave Up His Name." It is published by Grove Press. --Tobias Mutter

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