Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams
An Unnatural History of Family and Place

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Synopsis

In the spring of 1983 Terry Tempest Williams learned that her mother was dying of cancer. That same season, The Great Salt Lake began to rise to record heights, threatening the herons, owls, and snowy egrets that Williams, a poet and naturalist, had come to gauge her life by. One event was nature at its most random, the other a by-product of rogue technology: Terry's mother, and Terry herself, had been exposed to the fallout of atomic bomb tests in the 1950s. As it interweaves these narratives of dying and accommodation, Refuge transforms tragedy into a document of renewal and spiritual grace, resulting in a work that has become a classic.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Terry Tempest Williams

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Terry Tempest Williams lives in Grand County, Utah.From the Trade Paperback edition.
 
Published January 1, 1992 by Vintage Books / Random House. 322 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Sports & Outdoors, Biographies & Memoirs, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Refuge

Kirkus Reviews

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Disaster is at the center of this haunting book by Utah naturalist Williams (Pieces of White Shell, 1984), as the Great Salt Lake rises to break all records, submerging roads and driving the resident wildlife away, and as the author's mother dies of cancer at age 53.

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The New York Times

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Indeed, much of “City of Refuge” seems to have been written with the same heavy hand as “Why New Orleans Matters,” in which Piazza declares, “New Orleans inspires the kind of love that very few other cities do.” If it is Piazza’s hope with “City of Refuge” to encourage empathy on the part of the...

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of Refuge: An Unnatural History ...

Publishers Weekly

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From 1982 to 1989 Williams, a naturalist in residence at the Utah Museum of Natural History, suffered two traumatic events: her mother's unsuccessful battle with cancer and the flooding of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge by the rising waters of the Great Salt Lake.

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Publishers Weekly

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Utah naturalist Williams ponders the loss of her mother to cancer and the disastrous flooding of a bird refuge in a moving account of the interrelations between personal tragedy and natural history.

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Christian Science Monitor

After the levees break in New Orleans, wiping out his Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, Williams manages to get his sister to safety, and then spends two days ferrying people in a dinghy, rowing with a board and blistered hands.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Less than three months after Hurricane Katrina left his city swamped, the New Orleans author Tom Piazza (known best as a music writer) published a 167-page gust of prose titled "Why New Orleans Matters."

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Austin Chronicle

As a chronicler of life in New Orleans, before and after Hurricane Katrina, author and critic Tom Piazza made his mark with Why New Orleans Matters, a cultural history of the Crescent City.

Oct 31 2008 | Read Full Review of Refuge: An Unnatural History ...

Spirituality & Practice

Reviews Philosophy About Our Affiliates Books & Audios Recently Reviewed Terry Tempest Williams has written a beautiful, brooding, and hopeful book about the enduring links between family, change, loss, and the natural world.

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