Three of Pam’s books are being released January 28th as paperbacks. Click the book images below to pre-order today!
CONTENTS MAY HAVE SHIFTED
By PAM HOUSTON
“An absorbing, generous, ravishing book by a high priestess of
—Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
“If [Houston’s] unlucky in love, she’s certainly lucky in prose. She makes everyday accidental details of nature fly vividly off the page.”
—Alan Cheuse, NPR
“In controlled, elegant prose, Houston imbues each pithy chapter
with unifying lyricism.”
—Booklist, starred review
“Houston builds her story out of 132 highly crafted vignettes identified by place names—gems in a constantly changing mosaic.”
―Jane Ciabattari, Boston Globe
“Houston is a wonderful writer, and her graceful vignettes are by turns beautiful, slyly funny and heart-stopping.”
—Rebecca Barry, San Francisco Chronicle
“When you get to a point where you think it’s all over, because some man, or some hope, or some life takes away instead of gives, get on an airplane, a small one if possible, because it always works.” Such is the mantra that propels a woman on a series of free-spirited, far-flung adventures through diverse countries and romantic relationships in Contents May Have Shifted: A Novel [W. W. Norton & Company; January 28, 2013; $14.95 paperback].
With her stories chosen for the Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories of the Century, and the Pushcart Prize, Pam Houston is one of the most compelling and spirited voices in contemporary American fiction. Now she takes her art a step forward in an incisive, poetic new novel about mastering the art of existence within an unpredictable world that serves up exquisite pain and exquisite beauty in equal measure.
A meditation on the anatomy of restlessness, this heartfelt book presents a deeply personal portrait of Pam (a fictional character not unlike the author). Between Albuquerque, Laos, Seattle, Tibet, Aspen, Argentina, New York, Alaska, the Kingdom of Bhutan, and many other places, Pam gets on airplane after airplane, attempting to seize life on her own terms in the midst of a crumbling relationship with her boyfriend Ethan, who is so unavailable in so many ways, even his cell phone seems to suggest she should cut him off.
We witness her traverse the Wrangell Mountains on horseback; sip Laotian rice wine-moonshine in Ban Xang, Hai; outsmart grizzly bears in Atigun Pass, Alaska; and chat about wind pants, Italian food, and sex with dear friends in Creede, Colorado. It soon becomes apparent that this physical wanderlust mirrors Pam’s attempts to navigate the cartography of complicated human relationships and deal with the inevitable severity of a world that never made any promises that it would do better.
After an agonizing breakup with Ethan and a string of fruitless dates with suitors who inspire her to recognize that “I’m not as open to love with my whole heart these days as I once was,” Pam encounters Rick, a self-described “highbrow hick” who, like Pam, never wanted children but, unlike Pam, had one nonetheless. Rick tries hard to do right by Madison—in the small amounts of time his New Age ex-wife Sofree affords him—and it’s the child who ultimately wins Pam’s heart and gives a new center to her life.
Blazing with truly superb, wake-you-up prose, rich with Houston’s characteristic wit, humor, and heart, this Pilgrim’s Progress for the twenty first-century woman conveys sentiments so universal and so true that at times it feels as though Houston is inhabiting the reader’s own consciousness. This intimacy between author and reader is augmented by the unique structure of Contents May Have Shifted, which is composed of short, self-contained yet interwoven memories that each correspond with a different destination. Each of the twelve chapters encompasses twelve such vignettes and begins with a harrowing episode on an airplane.
These near-death experiences careen between absurdity and hilarity, providing comic reaffirmations of Pam’s quest to unburden herself from the demons of her past and—with the help of a well-chosen cast of loyal friends—find solid ground in her life. By the end, one realizes that contents have indeed shifted, both in Pam’s life and in the reader’s sense of the world and its potential for both eviscerating darkness and exhilarating beauty. Contents May Have Shifted is a thrilling work of contemporary literature, one that will speak to a large mainstream audience about self-discovery, love, and overcoming the trials of the past, and one that should ensure Pam Houston’s place in the pantheon of American letters.
About the Author:
Pam Houston divides her time between her ranch in Colorado and the University of California, Davis, where she is the director of the Creative Writing Program. She has been a frequent contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine, and her writing appears regularly in More and other publications. She is the author of the best-selling Cowboys Are My Weakness.
Title: CONTENTS MAY HAVE SHIFTED: A Novel
Author: Pam Houston
Pub Date: January 28, 2013
Price: $14.95 paperback
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME
WALTZING THE CAT
By Pam Houston
Praise for A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME
“She’s Indiana Jones meets Bridget Jones.”
“Houston follows her heart and her gut to adventures that most of us only fantasize about, and we, lucky readers, get to share her thrills without leaving the safety of our seats.”
“Pam Houston catches the voice of an entire generation of adventurous young women whose intrepid hearts lead them into deep water.”
Praise for WALTZING THE CAT
“Self-assured and self-revealing, Waltzing the Cat will gratify Pam Houston’s many admirers, and it will lure plenty of new readers to her wild rivers.”
“Pam Houston’s stories are compelling . . . funny and real. . . .A book that remains fresh from beginning to end.”
With this new collection, renowned author Pam Houston treats us to a celebration of adventure—both real-life and fictional—that resonates with our own navigation through life’s pleasures and challenges. A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME [W. W. Norton & Company; January 28, 2013; $14.95 paperback], in the form of essays ranging over five years and five continents, introduces readers to an excitement-seeking, curious, and often awestruck traveler: Houston herself.
Houston is searching for a place—not too safe, but not too threatening—from which to negotiate mountain goats and river ice, camping trips and wine. As she searches for balance within herself and within the world around her, Houston speaks straight from the heart and proves to herself what she’d always suspected: fiction has nothing on real life.
Extreme adventure again collides with characteristic deadpan humor in WALTZING THE CAT [W. W. Norton & Company; January 28, 2013; $14.95 paperback]. Houston’s second work of fiction traces the story of peripatetic photographer Lucy O’Rourke through eleven linked narratives “full of memorable paragraphs and . . . sentences worth underlining” (Rocky Mountain News). Lucy is prone to the wrong decisions at critical times—not to mention natural disasters—but a surprise encounter with Carlos Castenada sends her back to her beloved Rocky Mountains, where she takes comfort in animals, the jagged landscape of Colorado, and the sage advice of women friends.
Houston serves up her characteristic blend of relationships and excitement in this story of one woman’s struggle for balance in a world that keeps pitching and rolling under her feet. Together, Pam Houston’s stunning new pairing of true-life adventure with fiction “fat with meaning” (Washington Post Book World) demonstrates that one author can give us the best of both worlds: the real and the fictional.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Pam Houston divides her time between her ranch in Colorado and the University of California at Davis, where she is the director of the Creative Writing Program. She is the author of Contents May Have Shifted and the best-selling Cowboys Are My Weakness.
TITLE: A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME
AUTHOR: Pam Houston
PUBLICATION DATE: January 28, 2013
PRICE: $14.95 paperback
TITLE: WALTZING THE CAT
AUTHOR: Pam Houston
PUBLICATION DATE: January 28, 2013
PRICE: $14.95 paperback