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NONFICTION | AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 2024

WITHOUT EXCEPTION: Reclaiming Abortion, Personhood, and Freedom

by PAM HOUSTON
 

“A story told with unflinching honesty.”

—CAMILLE T. DUNGY, Soil

An unflinching call for freedom by way of abortion rights. 


Pam Houston tells the story of how her personal and professional life was powered by access to abortion. Alongside her own account, Houston examines the legal history of abortion and shines a bright light on the impact of reproductive rights on all American women during the days Roe v. Wade was the law of the land.

September 2024 | Nonfiction | 9798890920003 | 176 pp | $15.95

 “Everyone knows what an important writer Pam Houston is; she has for decades taken as her subjects our most important and existential crises. Now, in Without Exception, Houston’s written a remarkable, lasting book about empire’s project of ensuring women find themselves 'without resources and too overwhelmed to fight.' Charlie Parker famously quipped, 'if you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn,' and that’s what I always think of when I read Houston. There is a demotic unpretentiousness, an irreducible clarity that can only come with having walked the walk, spent years doing the kind of quiet behind-the-scenes lifework that matures the spirit and affords certain rare writers a lucid integrity towards which all others must merely pretend. This to say, Houston isn’t merely an important writer, she’s also just really fucking good at writing. And risky too, formally and in her content. Houston says ugly true things she doesn’t need to say, things no one would fault her for leaving out, because she knows there’s a reader somewhere who will find the world more hospitable for having read them. To me, that's rigor. That’s love.”

—KAVEH AKBAR, Martyr!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PAM HOUSTON is the author of the memoir Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, as well as two novels, Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, two collections of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and the essay collection A Little More About Me. Houston teaches in the Creative Writing MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing MFA program, is a Professor of English at UC Davis, and cofounder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers. She lives at nine thousand feet above sea level near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

ALSO BY THE AUTHOR

AIR MAIL: Letters of Politics, Pandemics, and Place

When the state of Colorado ordered its residents to shelter in place in response to the spread of coronavirus, writers Pam Houston and Amy Irvine—who had never met—began a correspondence based on their shared devotion to the rugged, windswept mountains that surround their homes, one on either side of the Continental Divide. As the numbers of infected and dead rose and the nation split dangerously over the crisis, Houston and Irvine found their letters to one another as necessary as breath. Part tribute to wilderness, part indictment against tyranny and greed, Air Mail: Letters of Politics, Pandemics, and Place reveals the evolution of a friendship that galvanizes as it chronicles a strange new world. 

 

“An affecting collection of candid, heartfelt letters that stands as a testimony to the sustenance of friendship in frightening times.”
—KIRKUS REVIEWS

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PRAISE FOR WITHOUT EXCEPTION

“A story told with unflinching honesty. I thank Pam Houston for this timely and timeless book.”

—CAMILLE T. DUNGY, Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden

 

“Houston says ugly true things she doesn’t need to say, things no one would fault her for leaving out, because she knows there’s a reader somewhere who will find the world more hospitable for having read them. To me, that’s rigor. That’s love.”

—KAVEH AKBAR, Martyr!

 

“Finally a full-throated, unapologetic anthem bringing reproductive rights into galactic song. Forget bombs bursting in air and celebrate a woman warrior who has fought for her own voice and agency her whole life, and whose work has thus forged open paths for those who are on their way. This is a body story from the inside out told with eloquence, immediacy, rage, and courage. Dear patriarchy: your cultural incarceration didn’t work. Pam Houston is staging a breakout.”

—LIDIA YUKNAVITCH, The Book of Joan

 

“Pam Houston has written a deeply personal, taboo-busting collection of micro-essays illustrating the hypocrisies and shell game of abortion. Houston argues that abortion is a basic health right, motherhood is a choice, and we need to fight like hell for the freedom to make these decisions.”

—JULIE BUCKLES, Honest Dog Books

 

“One of the most urgent texts of our time, Without Exception is not only for fertile people in the United States but for everyone who understands that full humanity is inextricable from bodily autonomy. Houston cuts through political doublespeak that upholds patriarchy and white supremacy, forging connections between abuses against vulnerable bodies and the annihilation of our planet, yet somehow never fails to leave room for the radical, wild joy of what is possible when we refuse to be silenced.

—GINA FRANGELLO, Blow Your House Down: A Story of Family, Feminism, and Treason

 

“A miracle, a revelation, a revolution on the page. Houston tells the stories that every woman, and girl, and citizen of the earth, needs to hear. A ruthless, tender, urgent dispatch that travels to the heart of our struggle as a species. It will leave you transformed, inspired, braver than you were before.”

—STEVE ALMOND, All the Secrets of the World

 

Without Exception arrived precisely at the moment when we need to hear the message that Pam has dedicated her brave life to crafting.”

—FENTON JOHNSON, Keeping Faith

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