Bass, Rick (1958 – ) American Writer
Rick Bass (1958 – )
Bass was born in south Texas and grew up there, absorbing stories and family lore from his grandfather during deer-hunting trips. These early forays into Texas hill country form the basis of the author's first book, The Deer Pasture, published when he was 27 years old. At one time or another, Bass has lived in Texas, Mississippi, Vermont, Utah, Arkansas, and Montana.
Bass received a degree in geology from Utah State University in 1979 and went to work as a petroleum geologist in Mississippi, prospecting for new oil wells . This experience informed one of his better-known nonfiction books, Oil Notes. Written in journal form, Oil Notes offers meditations on the art and science of finding energy in the ground, as well as reflections on the author's personal life and his outdoor adventures.
Bass is a passionate environmentalist whose nonfiction in particular celebrates efforts to reclaim a wilder America. Books such as The Lost Grizzlies: A Search for Survivors demonstrate his conviction that America's larger predators should be allowed to survive and thrive. Bass highlights the plight of the wolf in 1992's The Ninemile Wolves and 1998's The New Wolves.
Bass features his adopted Montana homeland in some of his publications, including his nonfiction titles Winter: Notes from Montana, a 1991 release, and The Book of Yaak, which was published in 1996. Bass's essays are often linked by comments about his dog, a German shorthaired pointer named Colter. Bass gave readers a more exclusive look at Colter with his 2000 book Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had. The work, however, also stays true to Bass's characteristic nature themes. Publisher's Weekly said Colter was as much "a book about appreciating nature and life" as it was the story of Bass and his dog.
Although most of Bass's publications are nonfiction, the author has written both short stories and novels. Perhaps not surprisingly, the masculine sports of hunting , fishing, and drinking are central to many of Bass's stories. Bass published his first novel in 1998, Where the Sea Used to Be. The story involves a young geologist named Wallis who is sent by an oilman named Old Dudley to an isolated part of Montana. While investigating the land, Wallis stays with Mel, Old Dudley's daughter. Wallis comes to love both Mel, who studies wolves , and the remote landscape. This book was followed by a collection of short stories in 2002, called The Hermit's Story. Bass continued to publish essays and stories in the early 2000s in many popular magazines, including Sports Afield, Audobon, National Geographic Traveler, Atlantic Monthly, Sierra, and others.
Kinsella, Bridget. "Taking a Title to the Dogs and Beyond"Publishers Weekly 247, no. 23 (June 5, 2000): 19.