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Pam Houston  (b. 1962)

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Pam Houston (b. 1962) grew up in New Jersey, the only child of an actress and an unsuccessful businessman. After graduating in English from Denison University in Ohio, she rode across Canada on a bicycle and then down to Colorado, where she worked at various odd jobs, among them bartender and flagwoman on a highway crew. Eventually, she entered a doctoral program at the University of Utah.

Her first collection of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness, was published in 1992. Her stories have also appeared in Mirabella, Mademoiselle, the Mississippi Review, and Best American Short Stories and her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, Elle, and Vogue. She recently edited Women on Hunting: Essays, Fiction, and Poetry (1994), and wrote the text for Men Before Ten A.M. (1997), a book of photographs by the French photographer Veronique Vial.

A licensed river guide and accomplished horsewoman, Houston teaches at many writing conferences and programs in the United States and England. In explaining her pursuit of outdoor and often dangerous activities during her early twenties, she says: "You think I spent three summers leading hunters through Alaska because I like watching guys like David Duke shoot sheep? No. It was because if I didn't go with my boyfriend, somebody else would. I wanted to win."

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