Now available in a Grove edition for the first time, Dalva is one of the finest novels by New York Times bestselling, much beloved author Jim Harrison: a beautifully crafted story of one woman’s journey to find her son.
From her home on the California coast, Dalva hears the broad silence of the Nebraska prairie where she was born and longs for the son she gave up for adoption years before. Beautiful, fearless, tormented, at forty-five she has lived a life of lovers and adventures. Now, Dalva begins a journey that will take her back to the bosom of her family, to the half-Sioux lover of her youth, and to a pioneering great-grandfather whose journals recount the bloody annihilation of the Plains Indians. On the way, she discovers a story that stretches from East to West, from the Civil War to Wounded Knee and Vietnamand finds the balm to heal her wild and wounded soul.
One of Harrison’s most ambitious novels, Dalva explores an extraordinary family through the strong, engaging voice of an unforgettable woman, confirming Harrison as one of America’s most memorable writers.
Praise for Dalva
Monumental . . . A work of humor and a unified lament . . . Voices that cut through time and cross the barriers of culture and gender to achieve a work in chorus. . . . There is no putting aside Dalva until the time bombs go off, the identities are revealed, and the skeletons almost literally tumble from the closets. . . . Dalva is suspended in its own beauty. . . . A book to read with trust and exuberance.” Louise Erdrich, Chicago Tribune
Harrison’s storytelling instincts are nearly flawless . . . The people in Dalva reemerge as full-blooded individuals who almost incidentally embody much of the innocence, carelessness, and urgency that played so large a part in the settling of this country. Best of all, perhaps, are Mr. Harrison’s descriptions of the landthe untamed deserts, plains, forests, and arroyos of what was once the Western frontier . . . tough but rhapsodic language.” New York Times Book Review
Moving, interesting, satisfying . . . Dalva is Harrison’s most ambitious novel to date. . . . What arouses our curiosity and sympathy is [Dalva’s] quiet explorationher meditations upon her family, her loves, her losses and her gains, her sense of the world she inhabits. . . . Harrison has succeeded admirably.” Washington Post Book World
If the reader is in any doubt at all during the opening pages of Jim Harrison’s 1988 novel Dalva as to whether they’re in the hands of a master craftsman, then it is likely that these doubts will be put to bed not far into its opening chapter. . . . [Harrison] confronts the human world as unshrinkingly as he confronts the natural world and is often examining how the two fit together. . . . His subjects . . . are as violent and raw and strongly regional as those in any work of rural American fiction, but no less intellectually complex. . . . Epic.” Tom Cox, Guardian
Jim Harrison’s Dalva is the story of a remarkable modern woman’s search for her son. . . . Harrison beautifully conveys Dalva’s essential femininity. . . . Dalva asserts that she has never been seducedhas always, subtly, done the seducing of lovers herself. . . . Harrison’s Dalva may well seduce you, too.” Los Angeles Times Book Review
Harrison’s style is flexible and capable of great intimacy. . . . Dalva turns out to be a festival of life’s poetry.” Christian Science Monitor
A fascinating novel about an American woman . . . Harrison uses his pen as a sword to right wrongs and settle scores. . . . He takes bigger risks, letting go of old habits and surrendering to his own impassioned imagination.” San Francisco Chronicle
Entertaining, moving, and memorable . . . A cast of fascinating characters.” Publishers Weekly
Dalva is the most memorable character in all of Harrison’s work. . . . Probably the best prose writing of Harrison’s career.” Michigan: The Magazine of the Detroit News
Diamond-in-the-rough elegance . . . an exquisitely carved portrait of the lives and loves of forty-five-year-old Dalva. . . . Harrison as a novelist continues to grow deeper and more beautiful.” ALA Booklist
Harrison . . . taps deep and true with this portrait of a family. . . . Strong landscapes, hilariously sketched walk-on characters, and antic detail give richness and humor to a novel that flirts with being a romantic paean to the prairie and the Sioux.” Kirkus Reviews