The Traveling Feast: On the Road and at the Table with My Heroes

The Traveling Feast: On the Road and at the Table with My Heroes

by Rick Bass


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Acclaimed author Rick Bass decided to thank all of his writing heroes in person, one meal at a time, in this "rich smorgasbord of a memoir . . . a soul-nourishing, road-burning act of tribute" (New York Times Book Review).

"Exuberant . . . A classic . . . This is a rich bounty of a book." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A master."—Boston Globe

"One of the very best writers we have."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Both mythic and intimate . . . A virtuoso."—O: The Oprah Magazine

"The beauty of his sentences recalls the stylistic finesse of Cormac McCarthy and Willa Cather."—Chicago Tribune

From his bid to become Eudora Welty's lawn boy to the time George Plimpton offered to punch him in the nose, lineage has always been important to Rick Bass. Now at a turning point—in his midfifties, with his long marriage dissolved and his grown daughters out of the house—Bass strikes out on a journey of thanksgiving. His aim: to make a memorable meal for each of his mentors, to express his gratitude for the way they have shaped not only his writing but his life.

The result, an odyssey to some of America's most iconic writers, is also a record of self-transformation as Bass seeks to recapture the fire that drove him as a young man. Along the way we join in escapades involving smuggled contraband, an exploding grill, a trail of blood through Heathrow airport, an episode of dog-watching with Amy Hempel in Central Park, and a near run-in with plague-ridden prairie dogs on the way to see Lorrie Moore, as well as heartwarming and bittersweet final meals with the late Peter Matthiessen, John Berger, and Denis Johnson. Poignant, funny, and wistful, The Traveling Feast is a guide to living well and an unforgettable adventure that nourishes and renews the spirit.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316381239
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 231,486
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Rick Bass, the author of thirty books, won the Story Prize for his collection For a Little While and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for his memoir Why I Came West. His work, which has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire, and The Paris Review, among many other publications, and has been anthologized numerous times in The Best American Short Stories, has also won multiple O. Henry Awards and Pushcart Prizes, as well as NEA and Guggenheim fellowships. Bass lives in Montana's Yaak Valley, where he is a founding board member of the Yaak Valley Forest Council.

Table of Contents

Prologue 3

Chapter 1 Peter Matthiessen, RIP 24

Chapter 2 Amy Hempel, Good Witch of Manhattan 38

Chapter 3 Gordon Lish, Captain Fiction 54

Chapter 4 Denis Johnson, A Long Time Clean 57

Chapter 5 Doug Peacock, Hay duke Still Lives 70

Chapter 6 David Sedaris, Trash Collector Extraordinaire 85

Chapter 7 John Berger, Old Man of the Mountains 114

Chapter 8 Gary Snyder and the Road to Kitkitdizze 133

Chapter 9 Russell Chatham, the Painter, Recently Hospitalized, Emerges from Seven-Figure Debt and Alcoholism, Ready to Paint 147

Chapter 10 Barry Lopez, Carnivore for a Night 155

Chapter 11 Tom McGuane, AKA Captain Berserko, Burning Down the House 171

Chapter 12 Lorrie Moore, Fairy Godmother: The Road to the Corn Palace; or, The Trail of Ears 190

Chapter 13 The Road Home 212

Chapter 14 Joyce Carol Oates, Badass 217

Chapter 15 Terry Tempest Williams, Red-Rock Solid 234

Chapter 16 Mississippi Ghosts 246

Acknowledgments 273

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