Synopses & Reviews
Relationships and extreme adventures collide with deadpan humor and female wisdom in Pam Houston's transcendent follow-up to her bestselling Cowboys Are My Weakness.
Through eleven interlinked stories, we follow roving photographer Lucy O'Rourke as she survives a home life where her parents engage in rather peculiar feeding rites for the family cat in a "title story that deserves to be anthologized into eternity" (The Washington Post Book World),
a near-drowning on a white water rafting trip, and a grand cayman attack in the Amazon. All the while her search for love continues with a string of rugged, exciting, and usually, it seems, inappropriate men. While it's not always easy for Lucy to find success in either the great outdoors or love, she rolls with the punches, never losing her sassy wit. When a surprise encounter with Carlos Castaneda at an airport boarding gate sets off a series of synchronistic events that lead Lucy to Hope, Colorado, and the life she has been searching for, we know that "Houston's triumph is that she has come to know the quieter adventures of the heart" (Arizona Republic).
Self-assured and self-revealing, Waltzing The Cat will gratify Pam Houston's many admirers, and it will lure plenty of new readers out into her wild rivers.
Raw and unflinching....
Houston brings her characters to life with dialogue and situations that are always believable but almost never predictable...you'll be fed by lingering thoughts of the characters and relationships within this impressive collection.
Pam Houston's beautifully constructed sentences are peppered with observations that reveal us to ourselves in an unexpected, occasionally shocking light. And she writes with a sharp, subtle wit. Waltzing the Cat is a delight to read.
The Plain Dealer
Houston is a master of the deadpan sentence...this book is an impressive and creative marriage of two literary genres that couldn't be more at odds: the intimate self-exposure of traditionally female confessional writing with the laconic stoicism of the traditional male western.
Terry Tempest Williams
Consider Waltzing the Cat an homage to the Equinox: equal dark, equal light; a book of truce. I love these fictions. I love Pam Houston. I love the inherent growth and confidence in this new work.
Pam Houston...returns to the subject of relationships in her captivating new book...[and] teaches us that hope and redemption are always possible -- and sometimes found in the most unlikely places.
About the Author
collection of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness,
was the 1993 winner of the Western States Book Award, and now appears in eight languages. "How to Talk to a Hunter" was selected for Best American Short Stories (Richard Ford, guest editor). Houston is the editor of the anthology Women on Hunting,
and has written the text for a book of photographs called Men Before Ten A.M.
She has been a contributing editor to Elle
writes regularly for Condé Nast Sports for Women,
and has been a guest on CBS-TV Sunday Morning,
with "Postcards from Colorado." She lives at an altitude of 9,000 feet in southwestern Colorado.