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Fiber is a story about the ravages of activism and the healing properties of art. It is a story about last chances, about crafting solutions from the wreckage of a devastated place, and about the high cost, emotionally and physically, of hope in the presence of despair. Writing from the Yaak Valley of northwestern Montana, the wildest valley in the Lower 48, Rick Bass brilliantly portrays the plight of the artist deeply embedded in a place he loves. The author asks how a writer survives amidst the destruction of the natural world around him and if, like Bass, the writer must struggle passionately to protect a place like the Yaak from destruction.As a work of fiction, Fiber elegantly follows the life of the narrator as it evolves from the geologist who takes, to the artist who gives, to the activist who fights, and finally to the troubling and magical "log fairy." Along with this progression of possibilities, the story demonstrates a concurrent range of emotional responses, taking the reader through delight, love, anger, fatigue, and desperation, culminating in a brave call to action on behalf of the natural world.
Fiber is intensely grounded in landscape -- in the Yaak, a valley nestled between the dark ranges of the Pacific Northwest and the basins of light that characterize the northern Rockies. Despite being one of our last truly wild places -- home to a dwindling population of grizzlies, lynx, wolverines, wolves, and even woodland caribou -- the national forests of the Yaak have no permanent protection. Bass' message is clear: please help save this magical, forested island before it is too late. Fiber is a graceful, startling, and gripping work by one of the most significantvoices in contemporary fiction and nature writing.