Join us in welcoming back to Northshire, Pam Houston whose new book Deep Creek delivers her most profound meditations yet on how "to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief…to love the damaged world and do what I can to help it thrive" in essays as lucid and invigorating as mountain air.
On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, beloved writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all. Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds and a spirited troupe of horses, donkeys, and Icelandic sheep, the ranch becomes Houston's sanctuary, a place where she discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her after a childhood of horrific parental abuse and neglect.
At 31 years old, fresh off a tour promoting her first collection, Cowboys Are My Weakness, Pam Houston had “no job, no place to live except my North Face VE 24 tent.” On an impulse and a good instinct, she spent her royalties on a 120-acre ranch near Creede, Colorado. It was more than she could afford, and required more maintenance than she could manage. And yet, twenty-five years later, it’s the piece of land that’s defined the largest part of her life. Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country tells the remarkable story of “that girl who dared herself to buy a ranch, dared herself to dig in and care for it, to work hard enough to pay for it, to figure out what other people meant when they used the world ‘home.”’
Pam Houston is the author of the novels Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, the short story collections Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and A Little More About Me, a collection of essays. Her stories have been selected for volumes such as The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The 2013 Pushcart Prize, and The Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Literary Award for contemporary fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award, and multiple teaching awards. She cofounded the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers, is a professor of English at UC–Davis, and teaches in the Institute of American Indian Arts’ low-residency MFA program and at writer’s conferences around the country and the world.