In Traveling Feast, Bass embarks on an epic trek across America and overseas to thank the writers who influenced his life and work, by way of cooking them dinner. He shares meals with Gary Snyder, Peter Matthiessen and Denis Johnson, with Joyce Carol Oats, Lorrie Moore and Terry Tempest Williams. He nearly burns down Tom McGuane’s house, and smuggles elk backstrap through Heathrow Airport.
“It mattered hugely to tell as many of them as possible thank you while they were still alive,” he writes, “and it matters hugely to me that their gifts and powers not be diminished or forgotten by the generations behind me.”
At the same time, Bass uses the journey to navigate midlife challenges: the end of his marriage, loneliness, waning passion for life and writing. “I wanted to go back to where I’d come from. I wanted to regain that brightness of spirit. I wanted to learn, re-learn, how to go after seconds, and then dessert, too: not just to survive, but to feast. And after a long time of not eating, I did begin to eat again.”
The New York Times Book Review has called Bass “a literary titan,” while the Chicago Tribune likens his prose to that of Cormac McCarthy and Willa Cather. Kirkus Reviews writes of the Traveling Feast, “Dripping with tasty anecdotes, literary tales, and great food, this joyful book is delightful.”
Bass is the author of 30 books. He won the Story Prize for his short story collection, For a Little While, and his memoir, Why I Came West, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His work has appeared in countless publications, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire, and the Paris Review.
The free event begins at 7 p.m. upstairs at Elk River Books, 120 N. Main St. in Livingston, and will be followed by a book signing and reception. For more information, call 333-2330.