Rick Bass Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Rick Bass’s first two collections of essays, The Deer Pasture (1985) and Wild to the Heart (1987), revealed both his active concerns as an environmentalist and his passion for hunting and fishing. Bass’s 1989 book, Oil Notes, revealed his wealth of specialized knowledge as a petroleum geologist. He is also the author of a novel, Where the Sea Used to Be (1998).


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Many of Rick Bass’s short stories have been selected for the annual The Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. In 1987 he received the General Electric Younger Writers Award, and in 1988 he was awarded a PEN/Nelson Algren Award special citation.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Bass, Rick. “Rick Bass: Lessons from the Wilderness.” Interview by David Long. Publishers Weekly 242 (June 26, 1995): 82-83. Discussion of Bass’s daily writing schedule, how he began writing while working as a geologist, and his passion for the environment.

Dixon, Terrell F. American Nature Writers 1. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1996. A lengthy discussion of Bass’s love of nature and the wilderness essays of Wild to the Heart. Emphasizes the importance of natural settings in his writing and includes some biographical information.

Gorra, Michael. “Outside: Rick Bass’s Novellas Offer Meticulous Observations of the Natural World.” The New York Times (December 14, 1997; July 20, 1999). In this review of the three novellas in Bass’s The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness, Gorra praises Bass for his ability to bring the wilderness alive, to pin it to the page for all to experience. He explains why he thinks the first two novellas, The Myths of Bears and Where the Sea Used to Be, are not as successful as the final novella, The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness.

Johnson, Anne Janette. “Rick Bass.” Contemporary Authors (July 20, 1999). Contains basic biographical information, a list of books by the author, a list of anthologies in which some of his works have appeared, and a list of articles in periodicals, most of which are book reviews.

Rosovsky, Michael. “Interview with Rick Bass.” Mississippi Review 27, no. 3 (1999). Bass answers questions and talks about his work, personal life, and career as a writer.

Weltzian, O. Alan, ed. The Literary Art and Activism of Rick Bass. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2001. Essays by Scott Slovic, Karla Ambruster, Terry Gifford, and many others explore Bass’s writings and personal connections to environmentalism as well as place Bass within the American tradition of such writers as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and John McPhee.

Wieland, Mitch. “Rick Bass.” In Twentieth-Century American Western Writers, edited by Rivchard H. Cracroft. Vol. 212 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1999. Essay gives an overview and description of Bass’s published works and general facts of his life. It provides critical commentary upon Bass’s writings as well as some of Bass’s remarks about his work and life.