The beloved author of Refuge returns with a work that explodes and startles, illuminates and celebrates Terry Tempest Williams's mother told her: "I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won't look at them until after I'm gone." Readers of Williams's iconic and unconventional memoir, Refuge, well remember that mother. She was one of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah who developed cancer as a result of the nuclear testing in nearby Nevada. It was a shock to Williams to discover that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock as what she found when the time came to read them. "They were exactly where she said they would be: three shelves of beautiful cloth-bound books . . . I opened the first journal. It was empty. I opened the second journal. It was empty. I opened the third. It too was empty . . . Shelf after shelf after shelf, all of my mother's journals were blank." What did Williams's mother mean by that? In fifty-four chapters that unfold like a series of yoga poses, each with its own logic and beauty, Williams creates a lyrical and caring meditation of the mystery of her mother's journals. When Women Were Birds is a kaleidoscope that keeps turning around the question "What does it mean to have a voice?"
The author of the memoir Refuge offers a meditation on the meaning of a strange legacy that her mother left her--three shelves of the elder woman's "journals," all discovered by the author after her mother's death to be empty.
The beloved author of Refuge returns with a work that explodes and startles, illuminates and celebrates Terry Tempest Williams’s mother told her: “I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won’t look at them until after I’m gone.” Readers of Williams’s iconic and unconventional memoir, Refuge, well remember that mother. She was one of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah who developed cancer as a result of the nuclear testing in nearby Nevada. It was a shock to Williams to discover that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock as what she found when the time came to read them. “They were exactly where she said they would be: three shelves of beautiful cloth-bound books . . . I opened the first journal. It was empty. I opened the second journal. It was empty. I opened the third. It too was empty . . . Shelf after shelf after shelf, all of my mother’s journals were blank.” What did Williams’s mother mean by that? In fifty-four chapters that unfold like a series of yoga poses, each with its own logic and beauty, Williams creates a lyrical and caring meditation of the mystery of her mother's journals. When Women Were Birds is a kaleidoscope that keeps turning around the question “What does it mean to have a voice?”
The author of Leap describes her Mormon upbringing, juxtaposing these reminiscences with discussions of the flooding of a wildlife bird sanctuary and its effect on that ecosystem, and her family's legacy of cancer. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.
America’s national parks are breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing, which is why more than 300 million people visit the parks each year. Now Terry Tempest Williams, the author of the environmental classic Refuge and the beloved memoir When Women Were Birds, returns with The Hour of Land, a literary celebration of our national parks, an exploration of what they mean to us and what we mean to them. From the Grand Tetons in Wyoming to Acadia in Maine to Big Bend in Texas and more, Williams creates a series of lyrical portraits that illuminate the unique grandeur of each place while delving into what it means to shape a landscape with its own evolutionary history into something of our own making. Part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique, The Hour of Land is a meditation and a manifesto on why wild lands matter to the soul of America.
Fierce, timely, and unsettling essays from an important and beloved writer and conservationist Terry Tempest Williams is one of our most impassioned defenders of public lands. A naturalist, fervent activist, and stirring writer, she has spoken to us and for us in books like The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks and Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place. In these new essays, Williams explores the concept of erosion: of the land, of the self, of belief, of fear. She wrangles with the paradox of desert lands and the truth of erosion: What is weathered, worn, and whittled away through wind, water, and time is as powerful as what remains. Our undoing is also our becoming. She looks at the current state of American politics: the dire social and environmental implications of recent choices to gut Bears Ears National Monument, sacred lands to Native People of the American Southwest, and undermine the Endangered Species Act. She testifies that climate change is not an abstraction, citing the drought outside her door and at times, within herself. Images of extraction and contamination haunt her: “oil rigs lighting up the horizon; trucks hauling nuclear waste on dirt roads now crisscrossing the desert like an exposed nervous system.” But beautiful moments of relief and refuge, solace and spirituality come—in her conversations with Navajo elders, art, and, always, in the land itself. She asks, urgently: “Is Earth not enough? Can the desert be a prayer?”
Americans have always been fascinated by birds and from the beginning American writers have captured this keen interest in a variety of genres- poems, journals, memoirs, short stories, essays, and travel accounts. Now, editors Terry Tempest Williams and Andrew Rubenfeld bring together the very best of this writing on America's birds in an astonshing collection that encompasses the Aleutian Islands and the Florida Keys, the Maine woods to the deserts of the southwest--and our own gardens and backyards feeders. What better companion to a field guide to the birds of North America than these personal accounts of birds and bird watching by a Who's Who of American literature? Put your binoculars aside and listen to the exquisite beauty of three Native American songs about birds, follow Lewis and Clark as they encounter new species on their journey across the continent, look over Audubon's shoulder as he sketches in New Orleans, and join Emerson and Thoreau rambling around Walden Pond. Here too are Theodore Roosevelt as he recalls the birds of his New York childhood, Rachel Carson observing a skimmer on the Atlantic coast, and Roger Tory Peterson casting a keen eye on snail kites and limpkins in the Everglades. Add to this an impressive array of modern and contemporary poets celebrating the wonder of birds and the joys of bird watching, including Robert Frost, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Sterling A. Brown, Cornelius Eady, Mary Oliver, Linda Hogan, and Louis Erdrich. This chronological survey of how and why Americans have watched birds makes the perfect gift for both the serious birder and the backyard watcher, indeed anyone who's ever been drawn by the wonder of birds.
Rosie Ferguson is seventeen and ready to enjoy the summer before her senior year of high school. But as the school year draws to a close, there are disturbing signs that the life Rosie claims to be leading is a sham, and that Elizabeth's hopes for her daughter to remain immune from the pull of the darker impulses of drugs and alcohol are dashed. Now, Elizabeth is forced to confront the fact that Rosie has been lying to her, and that her deceptions will have profound consequences.
From Governor General’s Literary Awards finalist Maria Mutch comes a startlingly inventive debut collection that recalls the works of Margaret Atwood, Kelly Link, Karen Russell, and Heather O’Neill. Wolves talk, notes magically appear on a woman’s skin, Red Riding Hood concocts a clever escape, a peregrine turns into a woman with strange compulsions, and a winged man believed to be a famous musician is discovered stranded on a beach. These deliciously dark and evocative stories masterfully navigate the blurry line between perception and reality, revolving around metamorphosis and transformation, the dichotomy of absence and presence, and the place of women in the world—how they fit in or don't and how they disappear and reappear in the strangest of ways... Punctuated with exquisite antique drawings and photographs by the author, When We Were Birds is an intoxicating feat of storytelling that will surprise and delight—leaving you craving more.
The acclaimed author of Refuge here weaves together a resonant and often rhapsodic manifesto on behalf of the landscapes she loves, combining the power of her observations in the field with her personal experience—as a woman, a Mormon, and a Westerner. Through the grace of her stories we come to see how a lack of intimacy with the natural world has initiated a lack of intimacy with each other. Williams shadows lions on the Serengeti and spots night herons in the Bronx. She pays homage to the rogue spirits of Edward Abbey and Georgia O’Keeffe, contemplates the unfathomable wildness of bears, and directs us to a politics of place. The result is an utterly persuasive book—one that has the power to change the way we live upon the earth.