Pam Houston divides her time between her ranch in Colorado and the University of California at Davis, where she is 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 in the author of the best-selling Cowboys Are My Weakness.
Houston's latest novel is Contents May Have Shifted.
From the author's Q & A with Gary D. Swaim at Pony Express(ions):
Gary: Writers, historically, had been cited (especially in ancient times) as something akin to prophets. It appears the singer/songwriter has taken much of that role from the writer. Do you agree? Why or why not? Are there areas a serious writer almost has a responsibility to address today, as a “prophet?”Visit Pam Houston's website.
Pam: I love singer songwriters. Deeply. But I don’t see them as prophets, any more than I see writers as prophets, which is really not at all. Record keepers, yes. The best writers are able to represent what it means to be alive on this planet in all of its emotional and psychological complexity (not always by recounting that complexity in painstaking detail but by gesturing at it extremely effectively) and that often looks like prophecy, only because we as a culture are so very bad at seeing ourselves. Didn’t Ray Bradbury say, “I was not predicting the future, I was trying to prevent it.”
Gary: What do you regard to be the serious writer’s primary responsibilities to be? To the self? To the reader?
Pam: Emotional honesty and artistic rigor. Complexity of mind and heart.
Gary: Would you dare to “prophesy” where fiction might go next? Subject matter? Styles?
Pam: I think the most interesting thing that is happening in literature right now is...[read on]
Read--Coffee with a Canine: Pam Houston and Fenton Johnson.
The Page 69 Test: Contents May Have Shifted.
My Book, The Movie: Contents May Have Shifted.
Writers Read: Pam Houston.