The Woman Lit by Fireflies

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What to expect

Across the odd contours of the American landscape, people are searching for the things that aren’t irretrievably lost, for the incandescent beneath the ordinary. An ex-Bible student with raucously asocial tendencies rescues the preserved body of an Indian chief from the frigid depths of Lake Superior in a caper that nets a wildly unexpected bounty. A band of sixties radicals, now approaching middle age, reunite to free an old comrade from a Mexican jail. A fifty-year-old suburban housewife flees quietly from her abusive businessman husband at a highway rest stop, exploring the bittersweet pageant of the preceding years within the sanctuary of an Iowa cornfield. The Woman Lit by Fireflies is a sweeping tribute to the nation’s heartland and the colorful, courageous people who inhabit it.

Critics Review

  • “A talented writer who understands the human heart…exciting and impressive.”

    New York Times Book Review
  • “A luminous, satisfying collection. Harrison has a powerful imagination…these sharp and surprising stories will outlive most of us.”

    USA Today
  • “A compelling sense of movement and character, prose marked by clarity and beautifully eclectic erudition, ribaldry, and humor…a haunting, gifted writer who can’t be shoved into any category.”

    Los Angeles Times
  • “Harrison has a narrative voice that fairly defies the reader to ignore it…For Harrison, life is a story, and it’s the one that he can tell with the best of them.”

    Washington Post Book World
  • “A brilliant tour de force…Jim Harrisonat his peak: comic, erotic, and insightful.”

    San Francisco Chronicle
  • “The three novellas in this production depict vastly different landscapes of the human heart…Porter is eminently believable as the tough, hard-drinking B.D., whose strong timbre is filled with intensity [in Brown Dog]…Harrison’s poetic side paints a vivid thriller in Sunset Limited, narrated by Carrington MacDuffie…[who] strikes just the right unaffected yet expressive tones while narrating this compelling tale…Lorna Raver’s delivery resonates with Clare’s gentle strength as she reflects upon her past [in The Woman Lit By Fireflies].”


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