SCIENCES

A Thousand Deer: Four Generations of Hunting and the Hill Country

. September 2012. 198p. 978-0-29273-379-2. 24.95.
COPY ISBN
Prolific writer Bass (The Wild Marsh: Four Seasons at Home in Montana) makes clear that no one in his extended family suffers from nature-deficit disorder. These 12 essays, all previously published elsewhere, form a seamless celebration of family, tradition, and nature as seen through the scope of deer-hunting. Bass focuses his nonfiction on the wild and is at his best when telling stories: helping his cousin dig a truck out of a gumbo sidetrack in the driving rain or taking his teenage daughter on her first hunt, where he observed the snow-quiet world and “tracks that reminded me of the trident calligraphy of shorebirds on the beach.” Bass draws his portraits of family and the cedar-studded hill country of Texas with care and grace. His descriptions are matched by insights: at his family’s annual hunt they spend time shaping stories, “even as we knew also it was more the tellers than the stories themselves who were being shaped.”
VERDICT This book is for anyone who appreciates evocative prose and close observation of nature.

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