Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
On the Road with Cliff
Although new to me, Jim Harrison is a prolific author of fiction, poetry, short stories and more. The English Major, which I just finished reading, and a number of his other works are set, at least in part, in either northern lower or the upper peninsula of Michigan. Probably his best-known work is Legends of the Fall, which was made into a successful movie starring Brad Pitt.
Cliff, the 60 year old protagonist, a former high school teacher who graduated from MSU with, of course, a major in English, (as did the author) spent years tending an inherited farm in northern Michigan. He sets off on a cross-country adventure after his real estate agent wife leaves him, sells the farm out from under him, and his dog dies. As he tries to make some sense of his situation and find a new purpose for his life, he settles on a personal quest to rename all the states and state birds that he feels are not nearly colorful and descriptive enough.
Very quirky and entertaining; Cliff’s road trip takes a number of unlikely turns as he realizes that change, however it comes, can be a good thing. I will definitely pick up another of Mr. Harrison’s books.
The English Major