Mississippi Writers and Musicians
MISSISSIPPI WRITERS: Rick Bass


Rick Bass 1958

Major Works

  • The Book of Yaak (1996)  Non-fiction
  • In the Loyal Mountains (1995) non-fiction
  • The Lost Grizzlies (1995)  non-fiction
  • Platte River (1994)  non-fiction
  • The NineMile Wolves (1992)  non-fiction
  • Winter: Notes from Montana (1991) non-fiction
  • Wild to the Heart (1990) non-fiction
  • The Watch : Stories 1997
  • Where the Sea Used to Be  (novel) 1998
  • Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had 2000
  • The Hermit's Story: Stories 2003
  • The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness 1997
  • The Diezmo: A Novel 2005
  • The Lives of Rocks (short stories, 2007)
  • Why I Came West: A Memoir (2008)

Photo above by Nicole Blaisedell from Bass's The Lives of Rocks book jacket.

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Rick Bass: A Biography
By Jonny Tahai (SHS)

Rick Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 7, 1958.  Bass's father was a geologist. As a young boy, Rick became quickly intrigued by the natural world. He received his B.S. at Utah State University in 1979 and married Elizabeth Hughes. They moved to Mississippi where Rick became an oil and gas geologist. Some of his essays in Wild to the Heart discuss Mississippi.

Bass  received the PEN/Nelson Algren Award in 1988 for his first short story, Wild to the Heart by Rick Bass"The Watch."  Because of his love for nature, he decided to move in 1987 to the Yaak Valley in Montana with his wife and two daughters.  While living in Montana, Rick has made and still is making attempts to save the last few acres of roadless land in the Yaak.  Rick won the James Jones Fellowship Award for his recent novel called Where the Sea Used To Be.  Rick has also made a trip to California to ask for help and wilderness support.  Rick's work mainly concentrates on the natural world and how close it is to the heart.  He continues to be an active environmentalist, a member of the Sierra Club, the Montana Wilderness Association, the Cabinet Resources Group, Round River Conservation Studies, and the Yaak Valley Forest Council. He has published articles in magazines such as Field and Stream, Sports Afield, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Outdoor Life, and others.

UPDATE 2008: Rick Bass's The Hermit’s Story was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year in 2000. The Lives of Rocks was a finalist for the Story Prize and wasLives of Rocks by Rick Bass chosen as a Best Book of the Year in 2006 by the Rocky Mountain News. Bass’s stories have also been awarded the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award and have been collected in The Best American Short Stories. He continues to live with his family on a ranch in Montana and is actively engaged in saving the American wilderness. His papers are available for research at Texas State.To date Rick Bass has written twenty-three books. His most recent book is Why I Came West: A Memoir (2008).

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A Review of the short story "Antlers"
By Jonny Tahai (SHS)

In the short story "Antlers" by Rick Bass, a man talks about his life in small, secluded town.  He describes a few of the townspeople and what they are like.  The story starts when the main character talks about the town's annual Halloween party.  The people of the town gather, listen to music, dance, get drunk, put on antlers, and have a great time.  When the night is over, the people that need a ride to their homes usually tie a rope to the back of someone's truck and ski home.

There is a local bar in the town that almost every guy goes to.  The bartender is a women named Suzie.  Suzie has been with almost every man in all the town  except Randy.  She believes that Randy is really frightening.  She hates hunting, especially bow hunting, because she believes it is pointless and cruel. That is why she doesn't like Randy.  Randy Jonny Tahai, SHS researchdris the only person in the town that bow hunts, and Suzie absolutely can't stand it.  Suzie always criticizes all the men about hunting and how cruel it is.  The men just give her a big hoo-rah and drink some beer.

The main character, who has spent the most time with Suzie, still has feelings for her.  He knew that Suzie was going to leave him, but still it hurt him.  Eventually, after she leaves her last boyfriend, she comes  back to the main character. The story is a very vivid story of a man that lives in a small, quiet valley.  Even though the town  is small,  a lot goes on in that town.


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Related Websites

Colter by Rick BassReviews of Bass's novel Where the Sea Used to Be are here.

Ole Miss writers site gives complete information about Rick Bass.

Acclaimed writer Rick Bass blends art and activism: INTERVIEW BY ALDEN MUDGE in Bookpage.

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tturb/00151/trb-00151.html

Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, holds a large manuscript collection of Rick Bass papers. There are 78 boxes of material covering the years 1958-2002.

Texas State also has some Rick Bass papers.

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Bibliography

Jane Fritz - Rick Bass: A writer of the Wild Places - (available) http://www.keokee.com/sptmag97~online/rickbass.html -10-28-98.

Elisabeth Sherwin - Save the Yaak pleads nature writer Bass - (available) http://dcn.davis.ca.us/g/gizmo/rick.html - 10-28-98.

KM - Rick Bass - (available) http://cedar.olemiss.edu/depts/english/ms-writers/dir/bass_rick/ 10-27-98.

Rick Bass: Biography - wysiwyg://44://www.geocites.com/athens/forum/6420/biopage.html 11-4-98.

James Jones Society Selects Two for first Novel Fellowship Award -  http://www.wilkes.edu/wilkesdocs/univrel/JonesAward95.html - 11-28-98.

Jordan Mackay - Bass, Master - http://www.epnet.com/egi-bin/epwlurch/pag...xrecs=10/reccount=1/ft=1/startrec=1/pic=1 - 11-29-98.

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Last updated April 1, 2009
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