An awesome evening of fabulous food and live entertainment awaited guests dressed in denim and diamonds at this years TCU Texas Book Award Dinner honoring Rick Bass. This event was presented by the Friends of the TCU Library on April 16 at the Amon G. Carter Stadium Champions Club.
The festivities began with a cocktail reception, allowing guests to socialize as they enjoyed music played by TCUniques, a French Horn quartet, and an exciting roping demonstration by Ranch Management Certificate students—Evan Myers, Shaun Strickland and Trey Milhoan. After dinner, Dr. June Koelker, Dean of Mary Couts Burnett Library, and Ed Fritz, President of Friends of the TCU Library, presented Rick Bass a prize of $5,000 and certificate as this year's winner of the Texas Book Award.
The Texas Book Award is given every two years to honor the best book published about Texas. Bass's latest work A Thousand Deer: Four Generations of Hunting and the Hill Country is lyrical, heartfelt and deeply intelligent in ways that appeal even to non-hunters. In November, countless families across Texas head out for the annual deer hunt, a ritual that spans generations, ethnicities, socioeconomics and gender as perhaps no other cultural experience in the state. Rick Bass's family has returned to the same hardscrabble piece of land in the Hill Country—"the Deer Pasture"—for more than seventy-five years. In A Thousand Deer, Bass walks the Deer Pasture again in memory and stories, tallying up what hunting there has taught him about our need for the wildness, about cycles in nature and in the life of a family, and particularly about how important it is for children to live in the natural world.
Bass was genuinely grateful for this honor and took the opportunity to share his gratitude and he also read a selection from his book. Captivated by the stories Bass shares throughout his book, several guests were not shy about asking questions to include nature and growing up in the Texas Hill Country.
"Our TCU Texas Book Award dinner is always one of my favorite events" says Susan Smith Past-President of the Friends. "It's a great evening to spend with incredible people and always an honor to meet the author and celebrate the best of Texas writing."
Another guest was also honored during the evening. Dr. Robert Sunkel was given the Friend of the Year Award for his generous gifts to the library.