Finding Hope in the High Country

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“How do we become who we are in the world? We ask the world to teach us.” In her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, Pam Houston explores what ties her to the earth―her 120-acre homestead in the Colorado Rockies most of all. Here, elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire in a dry summer, threatening her century-old barn and its inhabitants. Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds, Houston learns what it means to take responsibility for a piece of land and the creatures on it.

A survivor of parental abuse and neglect, Houston also discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her. Deep Creek delivers her most profound meditations yet on how “to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief . . . to love the damaged world and do what I can to help it thrive.”