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The English Major - Jim Harrison - a review

Cliff is 60 years old, a farmer with a BA in literature, and poor, recently cheated off his farm in his divorce. Cliff is traveling the country renaming the states and the birds of North America. No kidding. He picks up a former student with a divine ass (Cliff was a high school teacher once) and she screws his brains out from Minnesota to Montana. She moves quickly from the fantasy category to the emotional burden category.

He visits his successful gay son (who pulls 300K in the film industry) in San Francisco and ends up pursued by his ex-wife who breaks up with the man she left Cliff for. This harridan (who, naturally, has a late-in-life real estate career) suddenly wants Cliff back in her life when she develops diabetes. People with no boundaries surround Cliff and he lets them roam freely in his life at the very time he wants to carve out a private place. Eventually, he carves, but at a price that is just sad.

Cliff speaks with an honest voice, a voice that knows he must accept what he cannot change and get on with his life, despite the insensitive whiners who repeatedly invade it. If you are a 60-ish man, you are Cliff and he speaks truth to you. I don't know if he speaks truth to 35-year-old program analysts or 52-year-old corporate CEOs. Cliff doesn't speak FOR me, but he certainly speaks TO me and I am glad to be his friend and fellow sexagenerian.

Get your Kindle edition of The English Major here.

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