The Traveling Feast: On the Road and at the Table with My Heroes (Hardback)Rick Bass (author)
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On the Road meets Tuesdays with Morrie in this pilgrimage by "an American classic" (Newsweek) to thank his most important mentors through memorable meals and conversations
"Some years later, George Plimpton offered to punch me in the nose," recounts Rick Bass, remembering fondly a conversation with the famed Paris Review editor in his office, in which Plimpton, who had been slugged by Archie Moore, offered to connect Bass to a "hoary genealogy" that would include Ali and Frazier. Lineage has always been important to Bass. Before the punch-that-could-have-been, there was his failed bid to become Eudora Welty's lawn boy, and his first meal with Jim Harrison, during which he could barely bring himself to speak. That supper would eventually inspire this book, Rick's years-long pilgrimage to thank his heroes, and to pass on their legacy of mentorship to the next generation.
The poignancy of this journey of thanksgiving is intensified by the place in life at which Bass finds himself. He is nearing sixty, his daughters are now grown, and his wife of more than two decades, who accompanied him on that long-ago dinner with Jim Harrison, has called an end to their marriage. In the wake of this loss, Bass sets out, accompanied by two young writers, to recapture the fire, the hunger, that has faded from his life.
The Traveling Feast is a book about meeting one's debts in two directions--sending gratitude to the old exemplars, and a few contemporaries, from Peter Matthiessen to David Sedaris and John Berger to Lorrie Moore, while paying it forward to the next generation of writers, believing in and supporting them as Bass was by his own heroes. Each chapter in this fruitful journey recalls the meeting, the meal, and the history--the writer of the past and of the now.
From the disastrous pecan tart to the illegally transported elk meat to the photo op gone awry are many resonant moments. What emerges is a guide not only to writing well but to living well, to sucking out all the marrow of life, in Thoreau's immortal phrase. The Traveling Feast is a chronicling of the old ways, a cross-continent pilgrimage to show gratitude for a legacy of American literature and the writers who made it.
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 244 x 156 x 26 mm
"A literary titan...His world-building is beautiful, crisp, and perfect."
--New York Times Book Review
"Bass's prose is charged with a lyrical intensity rare in American fiction. The beauty of his sentences recalls the stylistic finesse of Cormac McCarthy and Willa Cather."
"Extravagant...Writing of this quality creates a stillness in the mind."--Time
"One of the very best writers we have."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"A master...A singular voice whose early promise continues to be an enduring gift to readers."--Boston Globe
"Durable and authentic...A writer who can both frighten and amaze."--Jim Harrison
"Both mythic and intimate...A virtuoso."--O, the Oprah Magazine
"Bass can lift a common moment into a shared experience that is universal."--Seattle Times
"Bass's reflective, funny, and generous chronicle of culinary adventures and nourishing literary encounters will renew readers' appreciation for stories and storytellers and how literature guides us back 'to some deeper, older place.'"--Booklist (starred review)
"In his latest, fiction and nature writer Bass pens an entertaining and love-infused gastronomical memoir...Dripping with tasty anecdotes, literary tales, and great food, this joyful book is delightful."--Kirkus
"In this exuberant literary road trip, Bass takes on the role of a roving wordsmith caterer, traveling the country to visit the writers who have inspired him and thanking them by preparing them home-cooked meals...Conversation inevitably flows through a series of wonderful, sincere encounters...Bass ruminates on what makes good writing and great writers while obsessing over his multicourse gourmet feasts with nearly the same devotion to detail...The camaraderie of like-minded literary folk is infectious, and Bass's account of hauling the meat of an elk he had a shot in Montana--now thawing and bleeding through its packaging--through Heathrow airport to David Sedaris's quaint British cottage is a miniature classic. This is a rich bounty of a book."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A culinary catharsis...The Traveling Feast serves up a rich smorgasbord of a memoir, truffled with pungent anecdote, sometimes funny, sometimes sorrowful, always savory. The melancholic power of these reunions is heightened by the reader's awareness that some of these literary lions (Peter Matthiessen, Denis Johnson, John Berger) were soon to roar their last. But there's also abundant hilarity, usually provided by Bass's mountain-man approach to the dinner table...A soul-nourishing, road-burning act of tribute."--Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review
"This is a series of stories about travel and food...but it becomes more a story of life morals. Bass is collecting advice and credos from each writer in search of inspiration to move forward in his life and career...Each host's approach to life, love, nature, or time is revealed with quotes that will stick with you."--Ashley Day, USA Today
"The Traveling Feast is by turns ruminative, hilarious and melancholy."--Jenny Shank, Dallas Morning News
"At 55, after a divorce that left him reeling, Bass lost his hunger for art--and stopped writing. To rekindle the spark, he reached back to his roots, setting out once more to become a student...The cure took, and this soul-satisfying book is the proof."--O, The Oprah Magazine
"This stirring meditation on time, loss, and change--and gratin--tastefully blends road-trip-meets-grocery trip tales from an author's quest to cook for his literary heroes."--Shelf Awareness