A passionate memoir about the great divides in Rick Bass's beloved Yaak Valley, the West as a whole, and himself.
A poignant look at the thirty-year journey of one of our country's great naturalist writers, Why I Came West explores how Rick Bass fell in love with the mystique of the West: as a dramatic landscape, as an idea, and as a way of life. Bass grew up in the suburban sprawl of Houston, and after attending college in Utah he spent eight years working in Mississippi as a geologist, until one day he packed up and headed west in search of something visceral, true, and real. He found it in the remote Yaak Valley of northwestern Montana, a unique place, neither national park nor government-sanctioned wilderness, where despite extensive logging not a single species has gone extinct since the last Ice Age.
Bass has lived in "the Yaak" ever since and in a series of moving chapters describes his own transformation into the writer, hunter, and environmental activist that he is today. He profiles how the rugged, wild landscape smoothed out his own rough edges; attempts to define the appeal of the West that so transfixed him as a boy, a place of mountains and outlaws and continual rebirth, just beyond whatever was near it; and he describes his role as a reluctant environmental activistsometimes at odds with his own neighborsunable and unwilling to stand idly by and watch this treasured place disappear.
"The book reads best as a series of variations on the theme of how our relation to the wilderness is essential to our being human. Bass is an eloquent defender of his precious valley." - Publishers Weekly.
"A compelling writer, Bass offers a clear-eyed look at the difficulties facing environmentalists. One cannot help but be inspired by his hard work, dedication, and religious-like reverence for the Yaak Valley and its wild inhabitants." - Library Journal.
"Starred Review. A nuanced blend of autobiography and environmental advocacy by the well-known novelist and short-story writer." - Kirkus Reviews.
The information about Why I Came West shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
Rick Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1958. His father was a geologist
who passed on his passion to his son. Bass received a B.S. in petroleum
geology at Utah State University in 1979, and then worked as a gas and oil
geologist in Jackson, Mississippi. He started writing short stories during
his lunch breaks.
In 1987 he and his wife, the artist Elizabeth Hughes, moved to the Yaak Valley in the northern Rockies, near the Idaho-Montana-Canada border. They have two daughters and a couple of hunting dogs. Bass is active in working to protect the Yaak area from roads and logging, and serves on the board of the Yaak Valley Forest Council and Round River Conservation Studies.
He is the author of over twenty books. His first short story collection...
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
The Steady Running of the Hour
"Exciting, emotionally engaging and ambitious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.