The English Major

The English Major Cover

The English Major

By Jim Harrison

Grove Press, Hardcover, 9780802118639, 304pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2008


"It used to be Cliff and Vivian and now it isn't." With these words, Jim Harrison sends his sixty-something protagonist, divorced and robbed of his farm by a late-blooming real estate shark of an ex-wife, on a road trip across America, armed with a childhood puzzle of the United States and a mission to rename all the states and state birds to overcome the banal names men have given them. Cliff's adventures take him through a whirlwind affair with a former student from his high school-teacher days twenty-some years before, to a "snake farm" in Arizona owned by an old classmate; and to the high-octane existence of his son, a big-time movie producer in San Francisco.

The English Major is the map of a man's journey into—and out of—himself, and it is vintage Harrison—reflective, big-picture American, and replete with wicked wit.