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Pam Houston is a part-time river guide and hunting guide, but not a hunter. She has contributed frequently to American magazines, and her short story 'How to Talk to a Hunter', was selected by Richard Ford for Best American Short Stories 1990. She has taken time off from a PhD programme to teach creative writing at the University of Utah.
Fellow novelist KERRY REICHS on PAM HOUSTON
Illustrating the potential depth of “chick lit”, the refreshing and realistic Cowboys Are My Weakness brings original perspective to the heavily trafficked gender divide. This collection of short stories reads like a novel, and teaches that a good man is hard to find, but a good cowboy is impossible, and while women should know better, they don’t. Houston’s characters are tough yet tender, wise yet vulnerable, sarcastic yet hopeful. Houston is a gifted storyteller and her women are funny, smart and likeable.
In these essays Pam Houston treats us to a celebration of real-life adventures which range over five years and five continents. But whatever Houston's destination - whether Bhutan or Bolivia or Traverse City - it is only the starting point from which she extracts her personal emotional journey. She is searching here for a place - not too safe but not too threatening - from which to negotiate mountain goats and river ice, camping trips and wine. Through her we meet some good dogs, a few good men, and the occasional grizzly. There's a horse named Roany with the presence of a Zen master. And there's a Buddhist named Karma, all proving what Houston has always suspected: fiction has nothing on real life.
Sexy, gutsy and intoxicating, these tales tell of the pleasures of dancing the two-step at the Stockgrowers' Ball, the pity of stalking beautiful beats and, of course sex, love and loss. This stinging-fresh collection opens up new worlds - of high deserts and Alaskan tundra, of perilous white water, the frozen rockies and of 'cowboys' and strong women. These women - part daredevil, part philosopher - know they should know better, but they don't; they wrestle within themselves, with danger and above all with their men whose bodies speak volumes, but whose emotions are not so communicative.