Mississippi Books and Writers

August 1999

Note: Prices listed below reflect the publisher's suggested list price. They are subject to change without notice.

Winter: Notes from Montana Brown Dog of the Yaak: Essays on Art and Activism

Nonfiction by Rick Bass

Milkweed (Hardcover, $20.00, ISBN: 1571312277; Paperback, $12.00, ISBN: 1571312242)

Publication date: August 1999

Description from Kirkus Reviews:

Bass (Where the Sea Used to Be, 1998, etc.) identifies the triangulate elements used to chart the course of his life and writing. The Bassian motivational universe is hardly a national secret, even to those most fleetingly acquainted with his work: In fiction and nonfiction, it is cut of a cloth, in praise and in defense of those wild places left on earth. One of his three essentials is thus place, in particular the Yaak valley of northwest Montana, his home, inspiration, solace, and love. On that place runs the brown dog, Bass’s pointer, as graceful in the natural world as Bass would like to be. His dog, as irreducible as an element, goes lost, and his valley is imperiled by the same forces that rob wildness everywhere. What happens, Bass asks, when the durable falls away, when vital tethers are severed? “What kind of stories do we tell, as we are falling? How do we live our lives?” Two more guiding stars appear in his firmament: activism and writing. Both he considers as shadows compared with the real—a rock is real, a wolf, a fir tree, his dog—but activism is the tool our political culture affords those who are fiercely protective of the real, and no matter how tedious or against the grain, it must be deployed, and it must be done artfully. Writing as well can touch the wild, “having protected, kept alive, or even enhanced the shape” of the landscape’s gifts. For Bass, these three anchors are also sanctuaries, one of which he will choose as a place where he can hide from the other two; each also opens up experiences left untouched by the others, to be explored as one might a strange house, room to room. Bass is an eloquent essayist; he somehow avoids sermonizing while lecturing, though he too often writes of things better seen and not said, like “starlight on the fur of sleeping wolves,” which sounds awfully mawkish. Pleasant, but Bass’s credo didn’t need a separate book to clarify; none of his works skirt the issue. —Copyright 1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

The Impossible Marriage

A play by Beth Henley

Dramatists Play Service (Paperback, $5.95, ISBN: 0822216973)

Publication date: August 1999



Mississippi Writers Page Links
About This Site |
New Book Info | News & Events | Literary Landmarks | Mississippi Literary History | Mississippi Publishing | Other Features | Other Web Resources

by author | by title | by place | by year | by genre


Ole Miss Links
UM Home Page | English Department | Center for the Study of Southern Culture | The University of Mississippi Foundation

This page has been accessed 1245 times. About this page counter.

Last Revised on Monday, November 9, 2015, at 04:34:20 PM CST .
Send comments to

Web Design by John B. Padgett.
Copyright © 2015 The University of Mississippi English Department.