Pam Houston writes about nature and the environment the way that Dickens writes about London or Tolstoy writes military history–not as an object in and of itself but as a terrain for understanding the human condition. Houston is a pivotal figure in feminist and environmental writing, and a master of the short story, novel, and essay form. From her first, acclaimed book of short stories Cowboys are My Weakness, across novels such as Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, and up to the essays gathered in her recent memoir Deep Creek, Houston portrays women and men in perilous situations, whether it’s from the natural, social, or emotional environment.
Air/Light was honored to publish Houston’s “Postcards from the West” in our first issue. This piece combines photographs taken by Houston of her 120 acre ranch in the Colorado Rockies with occasional essays about the last tumultuous year that included the pandemic, protests for racial justice, wild fires, and the end of the Trump presidency.
Pam joins us on The Air/Light Podcast to talk about “Postcards from the West”, as well as teaching, writing, the prospects of political activism after Trump, and her new book, Air Mail: Letters on Politics, Pandemic, and Place, co-written with Amy Irvine.