NWC News Desk

Writer Pam Houston talks about her "Cowboys Are My Weakness" and other works Thursday, Nov. 20

Posted November 7, 2008

P O W E L L,  W y o. - The Northwest College Writers Series will bring celebrated author Pam Houston to Powell Thursday, Nov. 20, for a 7:30 p.m. reading in Room 70 of the Fagerberg Building on campus.

Houston is best known as the author of two collections of linked short stories, "Cowboys Are My Weakness," which was the winner of the 1993 Western States Book Award and has been translated into eleven languages, and "Waltzing the Cat," which won the Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction.

Publishers Weekly called "Cowboys Are My Weakness" a "witty and engrossing debut short-story collection" about women and their relationships with cowboys. Describing Houston as "a gifted storyteller and a fine writer," the publication also says "Houston brings insight and an original perspective to the heavily trafficked gender divide."

Of the 12 tales in "Cowboys Are My Weakness," Publishers Weekly calls "Selway," among the most gripping," describing it as a story of an intrepid young woman who rafts through treacherous white water to keep up with her boyfriend, who is as untamed as the river that nearly kills them. Another story, "Accompanying Boone," is about a woman who follows "a hunter of the everything-has-to-be-hard-and-painful-to-be-good variety through the Alaskan wilderness during sheep hunting season."

Houston has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning from time to time doing literary essays on the wilderness, as well as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her stories have been selected for volumes of "Best American Short Stories," The O. Henry Awards, the Pushcart Prize, and the "Best American Short Stories of the Century."  Her novel "Sight Hound" was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award.

Her collection of autobiographical essays about travel and home, "A Little More About Me," was published in 1999. In 2002 Houston's first stage play, "Tracking the Pleiades" was produced in Colorado. In addition, she's edited a collection of fiction, nonfiction and poetry called "Women on Hunting," and written the text for a book of photographs called "Men Before Ten A.M."

She's published fiction and nonfiction in numerous anthologies and magazines, including "The Bitch in the House," "Dog is My Copilot," "Some Of My Best Friends: Writers on Interracial Friendship," "The Other Woman," Choice, and the New York Times, Ploughshares, O, and National Geographic Adventure.

Houston is the director of creative writing at University of California, Davis, and teaches at many writers' conferences and festivals in the United States and abroad.  When she's not in Davis, she lives in Colorado at 9,000 feet above sea level near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

Admission is free to her reading at Northwest College.