Rick Bass said he had never heard of the TCU Texas Book Award until he received a call saying he had won.
This award is presented every two years to the best book about Texas published during that two year time span. Bass was the seventh winner of the award with his book "A Thousand Deer."
Bass currently resides on a remote ranch in Montana, but he was born in Fort Worth and grew up in Houston.
"A Thousand Deer" is a collection of essays about Bass’ love for hunting and the lessons it has taught him. It spans 20 years of his life in Houston and shows his transition from adolescence to adulthood.
TCU Press and the Friends of the TCU Library were co-sponsors of the award.
Bass said he had no idea his publisher submitted his book to TCU Press to be judged for the award.
Dan Williams, director of TCU Press, said they usually receive submissions from several publishers across the country. They received about 45 entries for this year’s award, Williams said.
There are two levels of judging, Williams said. The entries are read and discussed among the TCU Press and faculty members. The final five books are sent to a panel of judges composed of writers and printers around the state.
“The outside judges thought that overall, Rick Bass’ book was the best written and the best with a literary point of view,” Williams said.
Bass said he was surprised to receive such an honorable award.
“While I always perceived this as a literary book and sought to make it be one, it surprised me that the judges felt the same way,” he said.
The Friends of the TCU Library provided the $5,000 prize and paid for the banquet that honored Bass Tuesday, April 16.