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“How do we become who we are in the world? We ask the world to teach us. But we have to ask with an open heart, with no idea what the answer will be.”
I first heard Pam Houston speak about her ranch on an episode of the podcast Dear Sugars, and I’ve been waiting for this book ever since. In her early thirties, Pam Houston bought a ranch in Colorado. Deep Creek offers a beautiful meditation on what the ranch has come to mean since: healing from a traumatic family life, grieving her mother and their complicated relationship, a complex symbol of independence and vulnerability, a coming into her own. Also a larger exploration of the meaning of human-animal relationships, the power of finding one’s place in the world, and the larger question of how to appreciate and care for this world in our time of environmental destruction.
Part memoir, part environmental call to action, part love letter to one small part of the world, Deep Creek is a deep reflection on place, how it can heal us, and what we owe the natural world in return.— From Kelsey's Picks
“I can’t decide if Mineral County, Colorado, is a piece of heaven or if it’s actually heaven. Either way, it is a wondrous Rocky Mountain paradise — a paradise beset by bitter cold, fires, and various degrees of hardship, but always exquisite beauty. Pam Houston has 120 acres of it, and readers get a glimpse of life and death on the ranch in this marvelous combination of memoir and nature writing. Both deeply personal and wide-reaching, Deep Creek is about the human capacity to feel grief and joy all at once for the ground beneath one’s feet and the planet as a whole.”
— Stan Hynds, Northshire Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY
On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, beloved writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all. Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds and a spirited troupe of horses, donkeys, and Icelandic sheep, the ranch becomes Houston's sanctuary, a place where she discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her after a childhood of horrific parental abuse and neglect.
In essays as lucid and invigorating as mountain air, Deep Creek delivers Houston's 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."