The New York Times’ Charles McGrath chats with Jim Harrison, author of “rugged, outdoorsy books” like TRUE NORTH, LEGENDS OF THE FALL and THE SUMMER HE DIDN’T DIE. And for many years as a part-time screenwriter, Harrison’s life reflected this rugged, wild ethos as he would pal around with Orson Welles, John Huston (both of whom used to stick each other with meal bills, going so far as to fake simultaneous heart attacks) and Jack Nicholson. “Writers go out to Hollywood for the same reason stockbrokers go into business, and that’s greed,” he said, adding “even when they’re cheating you, they’re cheating you at a level that’s unheard of in academe, say. But I finally quit because I didn’t want to die in that suckhole.”

And so, more novels, and a more moderate life thanks to the onset of Type 2 diabetes. But Harrison, now making the interview rounds for his new book RETURNING TO EARTH, still enjoys the pleasures of eating – including one meal that featured mesquite doves and Egg & Gruyere Polenta. “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.”