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(article, Megan Holden)
Novelist, poet, and gourmand Jim Harrison is everywhere in the news with his craggy face and piercing stare — and his celebrated new novel Return to Earth, which has probably received more publicity than his previous eight novels combined. Book reviewers with a passion for food, such as the New York Times Book Review's Will Blythe, are talking about Harrison's work, which among 28 books of fiction and food writing includes countless food orgies of remarkable proportion. (We wish there were a link to his New Yorker account of traveling to Paris for a 37-course lunch, but unfortunately you’re on your own. We can tell you it’s in the issue of September 6, 2004.) Reading Harrison or about Harrison is one thing, but on the New York Times website you can now watch him fry up antelope and elk with lardo (the neck fat of a pig) and ponder why cooks always say not to let olive oil smoke. In the Times_ video, it's clear that Harrison indulges himself, but he offers instruction even for those of us who shun excess; his novels remind us of the centrality of food in our lives. As he quipped in a recent interview with Charles McGrath (as seen in the video): "Food is a great literary theme. Food in eternity, food and sex, food and lust. Food is a part of the whole of life. Food is not separate."