Books & Articles

Joe and Me: An Education in Fishing and Friendship

Harper Collins (1997)

When James Prosek was fourteen, a ranger named Joe Haines caught him “poaching” from a reservoir nearby Prosek’s home in Easton, Connecticut. Instead of running from the old man in the green uniform, Prosek surrendered only to find himself a new friend and mentor. The friendship that evolved from the unlikely encounter not only introduced James to a world of hunting, ice fishing, and trapping, but to a new perspective on life.


“A charming, physically attractive memoir. In it he shows that he can paint with language as simply and refreshingly as he does with watercolors. Here is a young man with unusual gifts...”
     — Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

“Prosek is a writer at once artful and natural, an original in literature even as he is in painting. Joe and Me incarnates once again the values of Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Altogether a beautiful and radiant book, a book for everyone.”
     — Harold Bloom

“[Prosek] shows his gift as a storyteller with this calm coming-of-age tale. Held in your hand, [Joe and Me] begins to feel like something from another era. Gentle, solid, uplifting, and just a little bit sentimental.”
     — Los Angeles Times

“These are powerful tales simply told, hunting and fishing with just plain folks in the finest kind of just plain prose.”
     — Field & Stream

“[Joe and Me is] about what it means to be tried-and-true, [it is] about generosity, responsibility, humor, curiosity, appreciation; [it is] about having a warm heart and doing the right thing… Prosek describes for us a lost world of sports folk—relaxed, comradely, reflective, perceptive—from which he wisely decides to take his cues.”
     — Kirkus Reviews

“A mature and deeply felt narrative, Joe and Me is written with spare grace. In an age where even artists have a hard time moving beyond themselves, Prosek has found a world and theme worthy of his gifts.
     — Men’s Journal

“If you had to describe Joe and Me in three words, they would be: charming, utterly charming. Although the backdrop is fishing, Joe and Me is really the sweet story about the birth and growth of the friendship between a fifteen-year-old boy and a man in his mid-fifties.”
     — Hartford Courant