Why I Came West: A Memoir (Hardcover)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780618596751, 256pp.
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
In this poignant look at the thirty-year journey of one of our country’s great naturalist writers, Rick Bass describes how he 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 went in search of something visceral, true, and real. He found it in the remote Yaak Valley of northwestern Montana, 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 Why I Came West he chronicles his transformation into the writer, hunter, and environmental activist that he is today. He explains 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; and tells of his own role as a reluctant activistsometimes at odds with his own neighborsunwilling to stand idly by and watch this treasured place disappear.
Rick Bass is the author of many acclaimed books of nonfiction and fiction, including The Lives of Rocks, The Diezmo, and Winter.