STEVEN RINELLA is the author of The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine and a correspondent for Outside magazine. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, American Heritage, the New York Times, Field & Stream, Men's Journal, and Salon.com. He grew up in Twin Lake, Michigan, and now tries to split his time between Alaska and Brooklyn, New York.
In this spare, eloquent memoir, Rinella (The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine) describes his fascination with the American bison, which culminated in his tracking, shooting and butchering one. Rinella was one of 24 people in 2005 to win a lottery to hunt buffalo in the foothills of Alaska's Wrangell Mountains. So Rinella set off into the wilderness to fulfill his lifelong ambition. As he pursues the buffalo herd, Rinella also explores the long relationship between humans and an animal that they drove to the edge of extinction. In his journey through the wilderness, Rinella encounters grizzlies, white water rapids and frostbite; in his trek through history he depicts fur traders, early Native Americans and epics of slaughter that left the prairies littered with buffalo bones. Rinella's understated prose shows great flexibility, and he is by turns moving and downright funny. An experienced outdoorsman and hunter, Rinella writes with authority about the process of turning a living creature into steak, and easily renders an enormous amount of historical and scientific information into a thoroughly engaging narrative. (Dec.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Outside magazine correspondent Rinella, who won a lottery in 2005 to hunt buffalo, considers this animal's influence on the American imagination. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Praise for American Buffalo
"This is some of the best writing on our great national beast since George Catlin-and that was in 1841. A real triumph."
-Bill McKibben, author of The Bill McKibben Reader
"This is a big-game hunting story like no other: Steven Rinella is in search of an animal, quite literally. But also historically, existentially, and maybe even spiritually. Follow him on this curious armed quest-and, like him, you will quickly find yourself immersed in the fate of our mightiest and most talismanic beast."
-Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder
"Steven Rinella's American Buffalo is a boldly original and ultimately refreshing book. It is also fearsome and occasionally frightening, and one wonders if the author is quite mad. There are insights into nature and American history here that will be totally unfamiliar to the reader."
-Jim Harrison, author of Returning to Earth and Legends of the Fall
"Here is one of those rare books that make you feel larger, smarter, and entirely exhilarated for having read them. Steven Rinella's lens on the world is entirely his own, as is his grace on the page. American Buffalo is an achievement through and through."
-Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover
"Moving and downright funny. . .Rinella writes with authority about the process of turning a living creature into steak, and easily renders an enormous amount of historical and scientific information into a thoroughly engaging narrative."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Here is a wonderful young writer that everyone should know about. Steven Rinella is exciting, adventurous, technically gifted, honest, funny-a great new voice in American nonfiction."
-Ian Frazier, author of Great Plains, On the Rez, and The Fish's Eye