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Pam Houston, author of 'Contents May Have Shifted'

From: KUFM - Montana Public Radio
Series: The Write Question
Length: 29:00

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During this program, world-traveler and author Pam Houston talks about and reads from her novel, 'Contents May Have Shifted.' She also makes a comparison between creative ("wink, wink") accounting and creative nonfiction. Read the full description.

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Heart-stopping prose and crackling observations on a spiritual journey toward a life rich in love and freedom.

Stuck in a dead-end relationship, this fearless narrator leaves her metaphorical baggage behind and finds a comfort zone in the air, “feeling safest with one plane ticket in her hand and another in her underwear drawer.” She flies around the world, finding reasons to love life in dozens of far-flung places from Alaska to Bhutan. Along the way she weathers unplanned losses of altitude, air pressure, and landing gear. With the help of a squad of loyal, funny, wise friends and massage therapists, she learns to sort truth from self-deception, self-involvement from self-possession.

At last, having found a new partner “who loves Don DeLillo and the NHL” and a daughter “who needs you to teach her to dive and to laugh at herself”—not to mention two dogs and two horses—“staying home becomes more of an option. Maybe.”

Pam Houston is the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat , the novels, Sight Hound , and Contents May Have Shifted , and a collection of essays called A Little More About Me , all published by W.W. Norton.

Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA award for contemporary fiction, and The Evil Companions Literary Award and multiple teaching awards.

She is the Director of Creative Writing at U.C. Davis and teaches in The Pacific University low residency MFA program, and at writer’s conferences around the country and the world.

She lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

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Piece Description

Heart-stopping prose and crackling observations on a spiritual journey toward a life rich in love and freedom.

Stuck in a dead-end relationship, this fearless narrator leaves her metaphorical baggage behind and finds a comfort zone in the air, “feeling safest with one plane ticket in her hand and another in her underwear drawer.” She flies around the world, finding reasons to love life in dozens of far-flung places from Alaska to Bhutan. Along the way she weathers unplanned losses of altitude, air pressure, and landing gear. With the help of a squad of loyal, funny, wise friends and massage therapists, she learns to sort truth from self-deception, self-involvement from self-possession.

At last, having found a new partner “who loves Don DeLillo and the NHL” and a daughter “who needs you to teach her to dive and to laugh at herself”—not to mention two dogs and two horses—“staying home becomes more of an option. Maybe.”

Pam Houston is the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat , the novels, Sight Hound , and Contents May Have Shifted , and a collection of essays called A Little More About Me , all published by W.W. Norton.

Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA award for contemporary fiction, and The Evil Companions Literary Award and multiple teaching awards.

She is the Director of Creative Writing at U.C. Davis and teaches in The Pacific University low residency MFA program, and at writer’s conferences around the country and the world.

She lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

Timing and Cues

music bed between16:35 and 17:34