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Finding Beauty in a Broken World

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Finding Beauty in a Broken World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In her most original, provocative, and eloquently moving book since Refuge, Terry Tempest Williams gives us a luminous chronicle of finding beauty in a broken world. Always an impassioned and far-sighted advocate for a just relationship between the natural world and humankind, Williams has broadened her concerns over the past several years to include a reconfiguration of family and community in her search for a deeper understanding of what it means to be human in an era of physical and spiritual fragmentation.

Williams begins in Ravenna, Italy, where "jeweled ceilings became lavish tales" through the art of mosaic. She discovers that mosaic is not just an art form but a form of integration, and when she returns to the American Southwest, her physical and spiritual home, and observes a clan of prairie dogs on the brink of extinction, she apprehends an ecological mosaic created by a remarkable species in the sagebrush steppes of the Colorado Plateau. And, finally, Williams travels to a small village in Rwanda, where, along with fellow artists, she joins survivors of the 1994 genocide and builds a memorial literally from the rubble of war, an act that becomes a spark for social change and healing.

A singular meditation on how the natural and human worlds both collide and connect in violence and beauty, this is a work of uncommon perceptions that dares to find intersections between arrogance and empathy, tumult and peace, constructing a narrative of hopeful acts by taking that which is broken and creating something whole.

Review:

"With hypnotic prose...Terry Tempest Williams inhabits the post-9/11 world wide awake, utterly open, completely feeling. Taking notes in shattered worlds as her own family breaks and reshapes into something surprising and completely beautiful, Williams presets us with an incredible achievement, a beautiful, terrible, wonderful, hopeful witness. The farthest thing from insanity I've read." Alexandra Fuller, author of The Legend of Colton H. Bryant

Review:

"How a book could be this gentle and this heartbreaking simultaneously I do not know. But over a simple trajectory of mosaic-to-prarie-dog-to-comtemporary-genocide, Terry Tempest Williams leads us with methodical accuracy into the devastations and delights of now." John D'Agata, author of Halls of Fame

Review:

"Scientific in her exactitude, compassionate in her receptivity, and rhapsodic in expression, Williams has constructed a beautiful mosaic of loss and renewal that affirms, with striking lucidity, the need for reverence for all of life." Booklist

Review:

"A deep-running meditation on reaching for the sublime despite obstacles." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Williams discovers her way along a path that...leads to an unlikely yet inspired destination." Oregonian

Review:

"The book requires some effort, yes. The mind is not always ready to connect pieces....But Williams fills Finding Beauty in a Broken World with so many glinting surfaces that the mind wants to connect them." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[A] provocative, disturbing and profoundly important book....Williams' most important, most visceral, most demanding work. It should — no must — be read." Baltimore Sun

Review:

"[A]n ambitious, even audacious, work....It's a comfort to have Williams in our midst, reminding us of the mosaic formed by every creature on Earth." Denver Post

Review:

"[A] resounding hymn to creativity, community and engagement." Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Synopsis:

"Terry Tempest Williams' tools are words, ideas, sentences, fragments. She uses them to dig into chosen corners of our world, and to illuminate some unknowns in flickering light." — Washington Times

"With hypnotic prose--reminiscent of John Berger in its poetry--Terry Tempest Williams inhabits the post-9/11 world wide awake, utterly open, completely feeling. Taking notes in shattered worlds as her own family breaks and reshapes into something surprising and completely beautiful, Williams presets us with an incredible achievement, a beautiful, terrible, wonderful, hopeful witness. The farthest thing from insanity I've read."

--Alexandra Fuller, author of The Legend of Colton H. Bryant

"How a book could be this gentle and this heartbreaking simultaneously I do not know. But over a simple trajectory of mosaic-to-prarie-dog-to-comtemporary-genocide, Terry Tempest Williams leads us with methodical accuracy into the devastations and delights of now."

--John D'Agata, author of Halls of Fame

About the Author

Terry Tempest Williams is the Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah. Her books include Refuge, Leap, Red, and The Open Space of Democracy. Her writing appears frequently in journals and newspapers worldwide. She is the recipient of Lannan and Guggenheim fellowships in creative nonfiction. Williams lives in Castle Valley, Utah.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Neil Reid, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Neil Reid)
This will serve only to introduce one of many fine books by this author, Terry Tempest Williams. She is a keen observer, and participant, in matters of nature, matters of craft and art, and matters of heart to all of us. Her prose borders poetic phrase. She shares what is pleasing for the eye and as well what is challenging to accept - something of truth about exactly who we really are, as a people, as stewards of purpose too.

Finding Beauty in a Broken World could hardly be any more appropriate and precisely in these times and situations we now live. Shattered stones, shattered lives, shattered nature, all abound. We all know to what measure our lives and world right now teeters upon an edge, already broken some, and awaiting dire more. What simple wisdom shall we seek?

Here is one. And as she begins this book, the very topic itself contains one answer, embracing all just as it is, yet inherent with promise still, and here expressed through her labors learning by experience the craft and art of mosaic. A conversation with what is broken, as she says.

A simply brilliant and just appropriate response! I'll leave the rest for you to discover yourself. Well worth the read even if you stopped after that first experience and near poetic dance.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Sandy Haechrel, December 10, 2008 (view all comments by Sandy Haechrel)
From one review: Lily Yeh, who 'understands mosaic as taking that which is broken and creating something whole,'...

This is so on the mark, I can't wait to read this new book; the quote also reminds me of "Broken For You", by Seattle author Stephanie Kallos - read it, too!
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(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375420788
Author:
Williams, Terry Tempest
Publisher:
Pantheon
Author:
Williams, Terry Tempest
Subject:
Animals
Subject:
Aesthetics
Subject:
Essays
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20081007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.44x6.40x1.38 in. 1.46 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Natural History » General

Finding Beauty in a Broken World Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780375420788 Reviews:
"Review" by , "With hypnotic prose...Terry Tempest Williams inhabits the post-9/11 world wide awake, utterly open, completely feeling. Taking notes in shattered worlds as her own family breaks and reshapes into something surprising and completely beautiful, Williams presets us with an incredible achievement, a beautiful, terrible, wonderful, hopeful witness. The farthest thing from insanity I've read."
"Review" by , "How a book could be this gentle and this heartbreaking simultaneously I do not know. But over a simple trajectory of mosaic-to-prarie-dog-to-comtemporary-genocide, Terry Tempest Williams leads us with methodical accuracy into the devastations and delights of now."
"Review" by , "Scientific in her exactitude, compassionate in her receptivity, and rhapsodic in expression, Williams has constructed a beautiful mosaic of loss and renewal that affirms, with striking lucidity, the need for reverence for all of life."
"Review" by , "A deep-running meditation on reaching for the sublime despite obstacles."
"Review" by , "Williams discovers her way along a path that...leads to an unlikely yet inspired destination."
"Review" by , "The book requires some effort, yes. The mind is not always ready to connect pieces....But Williams fills Finding Beauty in a Broken World with so many glinting surfaces that the mind wants to connect them."
"Review" by , "[A] provocative, disturbing and profoundly important book....Williams' most important, most visceral, most demanding work. It should — no must — be read."
"Review" by , "[A]n ambitious, even audacious, work....It's a comfort to have Williams in our midst, reminding us of the mosaic formed by every creature on Earth."
"Review" by , "[A] resounding hymn to creativity, community and engagement."
"Synopsis" by , "Terry Tempest Williams' tools are words, ideas, sentences, fragments. She uses them to dig into chosen corners of our world, and to illuminate some unknowns in flickering light." — Washington Times

"With hypnotic prose--reminiscent of John Berger in its poetry--Terry Tempest Williams inhabits the post-9/11 world wide awake, utterly open, completely feeling. Taking notes in shattered worlds as her own family breaks and reshapes into something surprising and completely beautiful, Williams presets us with an incredible achievement, a beautiful, terrible, wonderful, hopeful witness. The farthest thing from insanity I've read."

--Alexandra Fuller, author of The Legend of Colton H. Bryant

"How a book could be this gentle and this heartbreaking simultaneously I do not know. But over a simple trajectory of mosaic-to-prarie-dog-to-comtemporary-genocide, Terry Tempest Williams leads us with methodical accuracy into the devastations and delights of now."

--John D'Agata, author of Halls of Fame

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