Mountain Blood

Will Baker

Selected by Annie Dillard

Title Details

Pages: 192

Illustrations: 15 b&w photos

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 09/15/2014

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4762-2

List Price: $19.95

Mountain Blood

Will Baker

Selected by Annie Dillard

Looking back on the American West as a place and a state of mind

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  • Description
  • Reviews
The recollections and yarns, historical meditations and reportage brought together in Mountain Blood display a sensibility formed by the harsh, outlandishly beautiful terrain of the American West. Will Baker's tales range from Nebraska to Peru and tell of a boy's first trout, a bar brawl over a woman, and the vise-like grip of gold over all of the Americas. They spring from an imagination shaped by wild, circuitous mealtime stories of prospectors and from the bitter history of a place where suburban ranch houses dot the vast sweep of land once hunted by the Lakotah.
Extraordinarily splendid writing. . . . Mountain Blood captures the independent spirit and sensibility of the American West.


Strong prose writing in the tradition of A River Runs Through It-writing which does not strain to be literary, but which instead evokes a vivid world of people and events.

—Annie Dillard

Baker takes the past, breathes life into it, and makes readers connect themselves to those who have gone before. He makes what has happened in the past matter now.

—Columbus Dispatch

Well written, humorous, and insightful.

—Library Journal

Powerful evocations of the American West, past and present.

—Publishers Weekly

Read this book for the muscle of its sentences; for the stories that could live as happily in a fine novel as in the shameless mouth of a relative; and for the freedom it will give you in your own life and writing.

—Kenyon Review

Worth reading not only because Will Baker tells a good story, and he surely does, but because he takes the extra step of wondering why these stories occurred in the first place.

—San Francisco Chronicle

There are essays and there are essays. And there are yarns, tales, legends, homilies, reminiscences, and testimonies. And then there is Will Baker's Mountain Blood, described by each of these nouns and defined by none. . . . One closes Mountain Blood with a notion of what an essay can be, grateful for the flexibility of the genre. Even more, one closes the book grateful for the flexibility of Baker's talent.

—Prairie Schooner

About the Author/Editor

WILL BAKER (1935-2005) was a professor of English at the University of California, Davis. His books include Backward: An Essay on Indians, Time, and Photography and Tony and the Cows: A True Story from the Range Wars.