Pam Houston is the author of five books of fiction and nonfiction including Cowboys Are My Weakness and Contents May Have Shifted. She teaches creative writing at University of California, Davis, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and is Cofounder of the literary non-profit, Writing By Writers.
“For seven days this February I had the incredible good fortune of visiting Cuba, of meeting and speaking with Cuban musicians, dancers, painters, print-makers, writers, economists, journalists, historians, waiters, tobacco farmers, organoponicos, tour guides, school children–and the list goes on. I attended formal lectures, toured galleries, watched performances, read two books, and walked on average of eight miles a day through the streets of Havana and the Viñales Valley. I have possibly never learned more about a country in such a short time. I am hopeful for Cuba, in the coming months, as we finally finally lift the blocqueo, and equally hopeful that they will maintain their hard-won independence (in name and in practice) in that process. But whatever happens in the coming months and years, what I have learned is the Cuban spirit is perhaps the most indomitable I have ever seen. I spent six days being deeply and fully interested in Cuba, and on the seventh day, in the moment pictured in Mercaderes Concerto, I fell completely in love.”