Before reading The Farmer's Daughter, my familiarity with Jim Harrison's work was limited to having seen the popular film version of his novella, Legends of the Fall. (And, I have to admit, as a heartthrob-infatuated teenager, I watched it an embarrassing number of times.) Whether or not the film accurately portrayed Harrison's written work, it planted in me a seed of stylistic expectation. I hoped for the sensual descriptions of the sweeping American Mid-West, and I wanted the landscape to actively contribute to the telling of the stories. In The Farmer's Daughter, Harrison not only lives up to those expectations, he exceeds them. Though all three of his novellas are distinct from one another, they are joined by the exploration of isolation, displacement, raw sexuality, human connection and, of course, by the inclusion of Patsy Cline's "The Last Word in Lonesome is Me."
In the ...
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