Finding Hope in the High Country
by Pam Houston
Pub Date 29 Jan 2019
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Beloved writer and teacher Pam Houston explores what ties her to the earth in essays as lucid and invigorating as mountain air.
“How do we become who we are in the world? We ask the world to teach us.”
In her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, Pam Houston explores what ties her to the earth—her 120-acre homestead in the Colorado Rockies most of all. Here, elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire in a dry summer, threatening her century-old barn and its inhabitants.
Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds, Houston learns what it means to take responsibility for a piece of land and the creatures on it. A survivor of parental abuse and neglect, Houston also discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her. 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.”
About the Author: Pam Houston is the author of Contents May Have Shifted, Sighthound, and Cowboys Are My Weakness, among other books. She is professor of English at the University of California-Davis and lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
A Note From the Publisher
IndieNext nominations due by 12/3/18 and LibraryReads nominations due by 12/1.
"wields scorching honesty andheartfelt reflection that will certainly be welcomed by her many fans.... Her search for a home to make her own, far frommemories and deeply entrenched in the history of the land’s pioneer past, took Houston through a literaryreckoning that cuts to the bone while offering succor for a shattered youth. Always impressive, Houston isin striking form here. Her talent remains remarkable and her words extraordinarily affecting and effective."- Booklist, starred review
"brings compassion, a deep sense of observation, and a profound sense of place to essays centered around the 120-acre ranch in the Colorado Rockies that serves as home base in her busy life of travel and academic commitments.... Houston’s vision finds a solid place among the chronicles of quiet appreciation of the American wilderness, without the misanthropy that often accompanies the genre; her passion for the land and its inhabitants is irresistibly contagious." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A collection of essays about finding and maintaining one's place on our changing planet.In her latest, Houston (English/Univ. of California, Davis; Contents May Have Shifted, 2012, etc.) writes with the same unvarnished, truth-loaded sentences that made her short story collection Cowboys Are My Weakness (1992) a contemporary classic.... The author's affinity for the place is clearly powerful—and infectious for readers.... A profound and inspiring love letter to one piece of Earth—and to the rest of it, as well." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Pam Houston’s extraordinary story about finding her way in the world by making a home on a ranch in Colorado moved me beyond measure. Deep Creek is a love song to the land, a deep rumination on healing, and a powerful story of one woman’s reckoning. There is so much beauty, wisdom, and truth in this book, I felt the pages almost humming in my hands. I was riveted and enlightened, inspired and consoled. This is a book for all of us, right now.” - Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
“Deep Creek is a love letter to earth, animals, and the best of humanity. Pam Houston has taken our heartache and woven it back into hope. Her stories of love, loss, and a life lived in relationship to land give us good reasons not to give up on ourselves or each other. This is the book we need right now to remind us how to endure--passionately. An unstoppable heartsong.” - Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Misfit’s Manifesto
“In the face of the world’s turmoil, this book is utter clarity. In the face of the world’s harshness, this book is a soft place to land. Above all else, Deep Creek is a love letter to the earth and the beings—both wild and human—that inhabit it. If you find yourself careening toward despair, pick up Deep Creek and read even just one page. The words there will lift you back to hope—not the sentimental kind, but the kind that can and does change the world for the better. What gratitude we owe to Pam Houston for writing it.” - BK Loren, author of Animal, Mineral, Radical
“Houston has a great range of vision, and she’s fun to read. She gets the land right. Through water wars and love-worn days, she conveys life on a remote Colorado ranch, bringing to the place the maelstrom of her own history. This is a perfectly American memoir. A restless heart finds its place.” - Craig Childs, author of Atlas of a Lost World
“Pam Houston is the rodeo queen of American letters. In Deep Creek, her voice has never been more fully realized, and her message never more important.” - Samantha Dunn, author of Not by Accident
“Deep Creek is a testament to the capacity of the human heart. Full of wisdom, wit, and loving attention, Pam Houston's survey of her life and land should be required reading for anyone who loves this planet we call home.” - Camille T. Dungy, author of Guidebook to Relative Strangers