The Wild Marsh: Book summary and reviews of The Wild Marsh by Rick Bass

The Wild Marsh

Four Seasons at Home in Montana

By Rick Bass

The Wild Marsh
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2009,
    384 pages.

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Book Summary

The Wild Marsh is Rick Bass's most mature, full account of life in the Yaak and a crowning achievement in his celebrated career. It begins with his family settling in for the long Montana winter, and captures all the subtle harbingers of change that mark each passing month — the initial cruel teasing of spring, the splendor and fecundity of summer, and the bittersweet memories evoked by fall.

It is full of rich observation about what it takes to live in the valley — ruggedness, improvisation and, of course, duct tape. The Wild Marsh is also tremendously poignant, especially when Bass reflects on what it means for his young daughters to grow up surrounded by the strangeness and wonder of nature. He shares with them the Yaak's little secrets — where the huckleberries are best in a dry year, where to find a grizzly's claw marks in an old cedar — and discovers that passing on this intimate local knowledge, the knowledge of home, is a kind of rare and valuable love.

Bass emerges not just as a writer but as a father, a neighbor, and a gifted observer, uniquely able to bring us close to the drama and sanctity of small things, ensuring that though the wilderness is increasingly at risk, the voice of the wilderness will not disappear.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Bass has mined his valley for several other books, but there is no shortage of nature's grace for him to exalt." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. This walk through a year is a walk through the author's soul, filled with passions, dreams, fears, and the exuberance of Walt Whitman. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"A fan's notes on wilderness, log-cabin life, grizzly bears and other aspects of the American outback....a welcome installment in Bass's ongoing place-centered autobiography." - Kirkus Reviews

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Author Information

Rick Bass Author Biography

Photo: Nicole Blaisdell

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...

... Full Biography

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