Teresa of Avila

Teresa of Avila

The Book of My Life

By Mirabai Starr (Translator); Tessa Bielecki (Foreword by)

New Seeds, Paperback, 9781590305737, 346pp.

Publication Date: July 8, 2008

Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) is one of the most beloved of the Catholic saints. In 1562, during the era of the Spanish Inquisition, Teresa sat down to write an account of the mystical experiences for which she had become famous. The result was this book, one of the great classics of spiritual autobiography. With this fresh translation of "The Book of My Life, "Mirabai Starr brings the inimitable Spanish mystic to life for a new generation, with contemporary English that mirrors Teresa's own earthy, vernacular Spanish, and that presents us with--four centuries after Teresa's death--someone we feel we know: a woman intoxicated with God yet filled with an overflowing love for the world.

About the Author
Daughter of the counterculture, Mirabai Starr was born in New York in 1961 to secular Jewish parents. She has been an adjunct professor of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos since 1993. Mirabai speaks and teaches nationally and internationally on the wisdom of the mystics and contemplative practice.

Mirabai is also a critically acclaimed author and translator of sacred literature. She teaches and speaks widely on contemplative practice, interspiritual experience, and the transformational power of loss. Her works include "Dark Night of the Soul" by John of the Cross, "The Interior Castle" and "The Book of My Life" by Teresa of Avila and "The Showings of Julian of Norwich", "Mother of God Similar to Fire" (in collaboration with iconographer, William Hart McNichols) and "Contemplations, Prayers, and Living Wisdom" (Sounds True). "God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam" positions her at the forefront of the emerging Interspiritual Movement.

Tessa Bielecki and Fr. David Denny have worked together for over forty years. They began as Carmelite monks in the Spiritual Life Institute where they co-edited Desert Call and gave retreats and workshops. At Colorado College they taught a history of Christian Mysticism and Desert Spirituality: from the Middle East to the American Southwest. They left monastic life in 2005 and created the Desert Foundation (see www.desertfound.org) and now live in neighboring hermitages near Crestone, Colorado. Tessa is the author of three books on St. Teresa of Avila and recorded Wild at Heart: Radical Teachings of the Christian Mystics for Sounds True. Fr. Dave has served as chaplain for Image Journal's Glen Workshops and Seattle Pacific University's writing residencies. He raises funds for Cross Catholic Outreach, a relief ministry for the poorest of the poor. Both authors are currently working on their memoirs and collaborating again on Fire and Light: the Passion of the Christian Mystics.

Praise For Teresa of Avila

“A cause for celebration. Captures Teresa’s conversational enthusiasm most effectively.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Crisp, contemporary language puts Teresa's famous passion for God in stark relief.”—Publishers Weekly

“Mirabai Starr’s translation is a work for our time. She has given Teresa a presence and a voice in a modern era.  Saint Teresa no doubt chose Mirabai, for her talent with language and Spanish translation is pure genius."—Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle and Anatomy of the Spirit

“Mirabai Starr’s translation makes totally accessible this most famous (and attractive) saint. The writing has such a delightful sparkle you can't help falling in love with Teresa.”—John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War

“Saint Teresa of Ávila has long deserved a far wider readership than existing translations have secured for her. She wrote, as she undoubtedly spoke, in an unapologetically vernacular Spanish—idiomatic, vivid, and informal—and Mirabai Starr’s rendering is all of that. The clarity and vitality of this new autobiography will bring a whole new generation of seekers into the blessed presence of ‘La Madre.’”—Carol Lee Flinders, author of Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics and Enduring Lives: Portraits of Women and Faith in Action

“Saints’ lives are not always page-turners. But Mirabai Starr´s wonderfully fresh translation of the Vida of Teresa of Ávila captures the passionate spirituality, the talent for intimacy, the frankly fallible humanity that attracted her contemporaries to the woman Starr describes, in her introduction, as ‘not an obvious saint.’ Tessa Bielecki´s deeply-felt foreword is one inducement among many to take this welcome new translation to heart."—Cathleen Medwick, author of Teresa of Ávila : The Progress of a Soul