Bass will present Wallace Stegner Lecture on Sept. 26
Author Rick Bass will present the Lewis-Clark State College Wallace Stegner Lecture on Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Williams Conference Center on campus.
The Lecture, sponsored by LCSC and the college’s Humanities Division, is free and open to the public. A reception will follow and Bass will sale and sign his books.
Bass has published novels, essays and short stories. The author of more than 20 books, Bass is frequently identified as a “Nature Writer” by bookstores and critics. His first short story collection “The Watch”, won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award, and his 2002 collection, “The Hermit’s Story”, was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.
Among Bass’ other works are a short story collection, “The Lives of Rocks” (2006); a novel, “The Diezmo” (2005); and numerous works of nonfiction, including “The New Wolves” (1998), “Brown Dog of the Yaak: Essays on Art and Activism” (1999), “The Roadless Yaak: Reflections and Observations About One of Our Last Great Wilderness Areas” (2002), and “Caribou Rising” (2004). 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.”
Publishers Weekly called his writing, “complex, compelling, and expressed in a unique and powerful voice.” The Chicago Tribune noted that his stories show “every hallmark of the natural--that lucid, free-flowering, particularly American talent whose voice we can hear in Twain, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway.” In an article appearing in the Bloomsbury Review, John Murray wrote, “Bass is characteristically Southwestern in independence, his restlessness, his humor, his vitality, his sunny outlook, his distrust of unchallenged authority, and his disclaim for affectation and pretense.”
Describing Bass’s storytelling voice, Leigh Tillman Partington writes that Bass tells a story “true, strong, and intimate; the details of his language are lush and pure, providing just the right amount of landscape and inner turmoil. Above all, his stories are about precarious balances: between men and women, children and adults, friends, lovers, and between humans and the natural world. His language reflects that balance. Like Eudora Welty, to whom he is often compared, Bass plays close attention to inner and outer surfaces, watching where and how they meet, and he captures those meeting places on the page.” (Contemporary Southern Writers, 1999)
Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1958, and was raised in Houston. As a result of his father being a geologist, Bass became interested in nature early in his life. He earned a B.S. in Geology from Utah State University in 1979 and was employed as a petroleum geologist in Mississippi from 1979 to 1987, and was in charge of prospecting for new wells. This experience provided the foundation for his book “Oil Notes” (1989).
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, where he has since lived and worked, writing fulltime on environmental issues and the vanishing wilderness. Bass has been active in working to protect the Yaak area from roads and logging, and he has served on the board of the Yaak Valley Forest Council and Round River Conservation Studies and been an active member of the Sierra Club and the Montana Wilderness Association.
The Wallace Stegner Lecture has long been a literary-cultural highlight for the LCSC community. Named in honor of Western writer Wallace Stegner, the annual lecture features discussions about the writer’s relationship with the physical and psychological territories in which he or she resides.
For information, contact LCSC Humanities Professor Mark Sanders at (208) 792-2301.