When Women Were Birds

Fifty-Four Variations on Voice

By Terry Tempest Williams; Angela Williams
(Sarah Crichton Books, Hardcover, 9780374288976, 224pp.)

Publication Date: April 10, 2012

List Price: $23.00*
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Description
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 the Author
Terry Tempest Williams is the award-winning author of books including "Leap", "An Unspoken Hunger", "Refuge", and "Finding Beauty in a Broken World". She divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Moose, Wyoming.

Alayna Williams has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she's never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses. Like the Pythia in "Dark Oracle", she's been known to belly dance. Unlike the Pythia she?d never consider herself a professional.
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