Harsch, Rick 1959-
HARSCH, Rick 1959-
PERSONAL: Born 1959. Education: Attended University of Iowa. Politics: "Exiled therefrom." Religion: "Soon to be Hindu." Hobbies and other interests: Fencing, archery.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Warren Frazier, John Hawkins and Associates, Inc., 71 West 23rd St., Suite 1600, New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Writer. Also works as a taxicab driver.
AWARDS, HONORS: Michener Copernicus Award, University of Iowa, 1997.
Driftless Zone, Steerforth Press (South Royalton, VT), 1997.
Billy Verite, Steerforth Press (South Royalton, VT), 1998.
The Sleep of the Aborigines, Steerforth Press (South Royalton, VT), 2002.
Some writings appear under the pseudonym Carlos Oretti.
SIDELIGHTS: Rick Harsch is the author of the "Driftless" trilogy, which consists of Driftless Zone, Billy Verite, and The Sleep of the Aborigines. In the last book of the trilogy, the hero is Spleen—the twin brother of the protagonist of the first novel. Several other characters from the previous two books return as well, including a transvestite named Bette Davis and a bad mayor named Skunk Lane Forhension. The final book also features a dead writer named Rick Harsh, whose murder the second Spleen is bent on avenging—while mourning his wife's departure from their marriage to take a teaching job in Tennessee. A Kirkus Reviews critic concluded of The Sleep of the Aborigines that "the signature quirks and insouciance are all in place, making this an apt closer for a tough trio of stories from the bleeding heartland of losers."
Harsch told CA: "I have written primarily to avoid working, which I consider the lesser form of slavery. My work is influenced by an involuntary alembic that digests various styles and another alembic that digests various injustices and rages. The writing process is the distortion of these pure elements. I have never chosen a subject, nor has one ever chosen me."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2002, Frank Sennett, review of The Sleep of the Aborigines, p. 8282.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2002, review of The Sleep of the Aborigines, p. 1826.
Publishers Weekly, July 29, 2002, review of The Sleep of the Aborigines, p. 54.*