The Heart beneath the Heart


Rick Bass is hilarious and revealing in this extraordinary essay on the difficulties writers face when returning to the academic world after a spell away. When Bass accepts a teaching position at Beloit College in Wisconsin, his life of the imagination collides wildly with the tamer pedagogical expectations of his employers, as both parties reach for a connection.

With these stories about many of his fascinations—from hibernating turtles, to the life and death of a beloved dog, to deer hunting—and an antic account of trying to get out of a city park he and a friend have accidentally been locked into at night, Bass embodies the comedy and the tension between our natural selves and our environments, our desire for the two to match up, and how nearly or seldom they do. Along the way, Bass poses the question, “Could I talk about writing . . . without mentioning pens and paper?” His answer proves that a master can, with grace, wit, and thoughtfulness.
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  • First Edition. 56 pages.
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