A global guide to LIVING CREATIVELY

Monday, August 19, 2013

Terry Tempest Williams

DISCOVERING A WRITER
Terry Tempest Williams
When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
I'm an easy target for marketers. Whenever I approach the "new books" table of any good bookshop, such as Vroman's in Pasadena, California, I am first attracted to interesting covers. Most recently the cover of Cheryl Strayed's, Wild, with its singular photograph of a hiking boot, was impetus enough for me to pick up the book and begin reading. I always read a bit of the book before purchase. However, it is the cover that first draws me in. The writing draws me further in, and if to my liking, I make a purchase.
This time, a book cover had no part in it. While examining the Lannan Foundation's programs for Fall / Winter, I saw Tim DeChristopher tied to the same program with Terry Tempest Williams. I knew about environmental activist, Mr. DeChristopher, having watched an interview on the PBS program, Moyer's + Company. But, Ms. Williams? I never heard of her. After viewing her website, I wondered why she never came into my purview.
Since journaling is part of my daily routine, the first thing that caught my attention was how the book came into existence. As she lay dying, Ms. William's mother wanted her daughter to have her journals - but, not open them until after her death. 
“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.”
And this began the questioning and, subsequently, the writing of her book. 
I have not read it. But, I will. Not because of an alluring cover, but, because I took time to listen to Terry Tempest Williams read from her newest book.
Mary Tempest Williams, author, naturalist, conservationist.  Facebook
Macmillan Publishers

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