Praise for For A Little While
"In For a Little While we have a core sample of a literary titan. At last. For what comes into focus in this collection is that Bass hasn't been writing just to save our wild places, but to save what's wild and humane and best within us. Bass is, hands down, a master of the short form, creating in a few pages a natural world of mythic proportions . . . Bass's world-building is so beautiful, crisp, and perfect . . . He renders every detail with bracing exactness . . . In every story in this collection, Bass goes into the heart of the matter . . . As you roll through this rollicking survey of Bass's fiction you begin to feel an uncomplicated holy motion . . . The pleasure and privilege of reading Rick Bass is to see how sacred we are . . . The greatest joy in For a Little While is the belief, in story after story, in the goodness of all things on this earth, including us."
―Smith Henderson, New York Times Book Review
"For a Little While offers ongoing and fresh evidence that Bass continues to be a master of the short story . . . These heartbreaking, strangely elegiac yet hopeful stories give us the range of what a story can be. Some bloom into tales with nearly all the depth of a novel . . . Others serve as elegant grace notes to entire lives . . . Still other stories work like high lonesome ballads, wrangling loss, love, and hope into haunting harmonies that chill to the bone. The opening story, 'Wild Horses,' is as deeply moving a story as I've read. It traces the slow path toward the ability to love, despite scars that won't ever disappear . . . The influences one can feel in these pages include not only the realist troika of Carver and Ford and Tobias Wolff, but also William Faulkner and Barry Hannah, Gabriel García Márquez, and Eudora Welty too; there's even Tolstoy of the late fables in which people off another grid entirely bear witness to the fact of their own cruel and graceful existence. But everywhere in this beautiful summary collection is a singular voice, that of Rick Bass and Rick Bass only, a writer whose early promise continues to be an enduring gift to readers. Here's to thirty more years."―Bret Lott, Boston Globe
"A profoundly satisfying collection, a plunge into rich and varied lives and landscapes. Bass's prose is charged with a lyrical intensity rare in American fiction. The beauty of his sentences recalls the stylistic finesse of McCarthy and Willa Cather, but he does more than just write prettily. Reading Rick Bass offers the deep pleasure of reinhabiting an older world, one that's not lost so much as latent and usually unnoticed . . . Bass, like McCarthy or Faulkner, reaches the universal by revealing the hidden infinities of the particular, both in humans and the landscapes they occupy . . . His metaphors proliferate with an inexhaustible fecundity . . . Bass's short fiction features many ecstatic, dangerous moments-a brush with a mountain lion at dusk, the surging adrenaline of a firefighter in a collapsing house, a girl's pride and confusion after killing her first elk. But he's also capable of wry humor and great subtlety . . . Each line of Bass's extraordinary prose brings you more awake."
―Nick Romeo, Chicago Tribune
"Bass is a keen and relentless observer of woods and praries and beasts of every variety....He writes with special feeling about loneliness....His best stories bring life and death within a hair's breadth of each other...They display clarity and heart and moral vision, and glow like a well-stoked wood stove."
―Dwight Garner, New York Times
"Glorious...Extraordinary...Heartbreaking...Transcendent...Bass is an acknowledged master of the short story...His greatest gift, what makes Rick Bass one of the very best writers we have, is his understanding of the soft hearts within even the hardest people."
―Porter Shreve, San Francisco Chronicle
"Rick Bass joins the pantheon of contemporary masters . . . For a Little While showcases his enigmatic talent, his passion for the dispossessed, and a style of beguiling strangeness like no other . . . Bass's gentle surrealism is reflected in iridescent sentences that ebb and flow, opening spaces for deeper meaning to emerge. For a Little While casts a spell both mythic and intimate, through the words of a virtuoso."
―Hamilton Cain, O, The Oprah Magazine
"For a Little While is a treasure trove . . . Rick Bass writes fiction with almost mythic plot devices that unfold with an authenticity that is startling . . . His talents are most evident in his masterful short stories . . . As he demonstrates in story after story, Bass can lift a common moment into a shared experience that is universal."―Tim McNulty, Seattle Times
"If any contemporary writer of short fiction deserves to take the victory lap symbolized by a collection of selected stories, it's Rick Bass . . . [This collection] should win Bass new fans while inducing his admirers to re-evaluate what they thought they knew about this versatile and sensitive writer . . . One of the marks of a rich, layered, rewarding story is that you can read it at different ages and stages of your life and be struck by distinct facets of it, and perhaps derive an entirely new meaning from it. This phenomenon hit me over and over again as I read For a Little While, whose stories have more to give than can be gleaned in one reading."
―Jenny Shank, Dallas Morning News
"For a Little While showcases the better part of thirty years of work from one of America's best short story writers, and to see it collected between one set of covers is impressive. . . There isn't a dud among these pieces . . . Clear, lyrical writing . . . An excellent examination of the human heart."―Chris La Tray, Missoula Independent
"Lyrical, ruminative, sometimes wry, and genuinely moving, this collection showcases Bass in his best form. Old classics, new favorites: There's much to savor here."―Josh Cook, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
About the Author
Rick Bass, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for his memoir Why I Came West, was born and raised in Texas, worked as a petroleum geologist in Mississippi, and has lived in Montana's Yaak Valley for almost three decades. His short fiction, which has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire, and The Paris Review, as well as numerous times in Best American Short Stories, has earned him multiple O. Henry Awards and Pushcart Prizes in addition to NEA and Guggenheim fellowships. He is the writer in residence at Montana State University.