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?"
About Terry Tempest WilliamsSee more books from this Author
It is an extraordinary echo chamber in which lessons about voice — passed along from mother, to daughter, and now to us — will reverberate differently in each inner ear.Read Full Review of When Women Were Birds
As Williams’sstories and insights fill in the blanks of her mother’s history, they also help her realize that the refusal to commit feelings to paper can be as powerful as any written memory.Read Full Review of When Women Were Birds
It is a loving creation, showing all the musical, reflective intelligence we expect from Williams, and a lovely example of her own voice.Read Full Review of When Women Were Birds
If you are looking for a light beach read, this is not it. If you don't like to delve into human emotions or think deep thoughts, this isn't for you either.Read Full Review of When Women Were Birds
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