Novelist Jim Harrison Wins 1999 Evil Companions Literary Award

Author Jim Harrison is the winner of the 1999 Evil Companions Literary Award, an honor presented to poets and writers living in, writing about or with ties to the West.

Harrison, the author of 20 books and numerous screenplays, will receive the honor at a special reception April 8 in the ballroom of the Oxford Hotel on 17th Street in Denver. The event is sponsored by "Colorado Review," Colorado State University’s literary journal; the Tattered Cover Book Store; the Oxford Hotel; the Wynkoop Brewing Co.; and the "Rocky Mountain News."

Harrison will read from his novel "The Road Home" at the event, which runs from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person and $70 per couple. Tickets are on sale at the "Colorado Review" office. To order, call (970) 491-5449. All proceeds benefit "Colorado Review."

The Evil Companions award is given annually to a writer living in, writing about or with ties to the West. The award was named for the self-proclaimed Evil Companions, a group of Denver journalists who gathered in the 1950s and 1960s to drink, socialize and discuss writing.

The Oxford Hotel will serve hors d’oeuvres and the Wynkoop Brewing Co. will brew a special Evil Companions Ale for the Evil Companions event.

"We’re delighted to have Jim Harrison as the 1999 Evil Companions award recipient," said David Milofsky, editor of "Colorado Review" and an English professor at Colorado State. "Each year, the event offers an opportunity for literary enthusiasts to gather and enjoy an evening with an acclaimed author."

Harrison is heralded by literary critics as a compelling storyteller whose fictions are characterized by extraordinary character depth and sweeping historical perspectives.

Milofsky said of Harrison’s work: "Jim Harrison writes about the big subjects, love, death, and man’s aspirations toward a better life in a flawed world. And he does this with passion and with compassion for the inevitable failures we all experience. In a literary world crowded with careful stylists, Harrison is never afraid to make the large gesture, which gives him the opportunity to achieve greatness."

In an interview with Publishers Weekly, Harrison said, "I like grit, I like love and death, I’m tired of irony… The novelist who refuses sentiment refuses the full spectrum of human behavior, and then he just dries up."

Harrison began his career writing poetry, but is best known for his novels and novellas including "Dalva," "Wolf," "A Good Day to Die," "Farmer," "Warlock," "Sundog," "The Woman Lit by Fireflies" and "Julip." Publication of "Legends of the Fall" won Harrison wide recognition, and the sale of the film rights launched his screenplay career. Four of his works have been produced as feature-length films.

"The Road Home" is Harrison’s most recent novel, and is the sequel to "Dalva," a novel that introduced readers to the daughter of a wealthy Midwestern rancher and her family. "The Road Home" is the continuing saga of the Nebraskan family, spanning three generations from the late 1800s to 1987. Harrison uses several characters as narrators to explore themes including family relationships, man’s intimate connection with nature and the search for meaning in a materialistic society.

Harrison has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his work has been translated into 22 languages. He has served as co-editor of "Sumac" magazine, and was "Esquire" magazine’s food columnist. Harrison is currently a contributing editor for "Men’s Journal." Harrison lives in Arizona in the winter and returns to northern Michigan for the remainder of the year.

For more information about Evil Companions, call "Colorado Review" at (970) 491-5449 or the Colorado State Office of University Relations at (970) 491-6432.