Poetry Madness
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft



I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
  1. $9.07 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$16.50
List price: $23.00
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Nature Studies- Natural History

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice

by

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice Cover

ISBN13: 9780374288976
ISBN10: 0374288976
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $16.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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?"

Review:

"Williams, the sensitive author of Refuge, is shocked to discover her deceased mother's unwritten memoirs — shelves worth of blank pages. Under such unpromising circumstances commences a kaleidoscopic celebration and palimpsest — all metaphorical cliches but apt — on finding a voice and woman's identity beyond the silenced, selfless existence informed by children and a husband — even a family brimming with love. The empty pages of a journal manifest a hermeneutics of suspicion: the white upon which to project a lifelong journey of self-discovery. In 54 meditations (one for each year of her mother's life, and of Williams's life to date), we learn about an unusual (patriarchal) Mormon background and an upbringing that included a season of homeschooling in Hawaii, encounters with a husband-and-wife team of John Bircher's while teaching high school biology , a job at the Museum of Natural History in New York City, and the meeting of her future mate over a discussion of books and birds. Among deep influences are Nobel Peace Prize-winner and environmentalist Wangari Maathai; Helene Cixous; Clarice Lispector; the secret-women's language of China...and the soaring operas of Richard Strauss. 'If a man knew what a woman never forgets, he would love her differently,' Williams declares in her bighearted, deliberative hymn: old themes newly warbled. Agent: Carl Brandt, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"The writing of Terry Tempest Williams is brilliant, meditative, and full of surprises, wisdom, and wonder. She's one of those writers who changes people's lives by encouraging attention and a slow, patient awakening." Anne Lamott, author of Imperfect Birds

Review:

"Much more than a brave and luminous memoir, When Women Were Birds is a set of blueprints for building one of Americas most impassioned and audacious writers, as well as a transcript of the moment when she stepped determinedly into the full power of her own voice. In Terry's magical equation, rage + confusion + grief + accountability = love. At some point I realized I was reading every page twice trying to memorize each insight, each bit of hard-won wisdom. Then I realized I could keep it on my bedside table and read it every night." Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted

Review:

"Somehow, miraculously, Terry Tempest Williams has done it again: written a book that no one else could have, that tells the truth about our lives. If you want to understand how a writer finds her voice, read this gorgeous book." Sue Halpern, author of Can't Remember What I Forgot

Review:

"When Women Were Birds is a wise and beautiful and intelligent book, written for the women, men, and children of our times. It vibrates with the earned honesty of a great soul. It is a gift, passed on to readers with the same spirit of love and generosity with which it was first given to the author by her mother. A remarkable journey, a remarkable story." Rick Bass, author of The Wild Marsh

Review:

"Williams narrates stories that range wide and run deep...Here, readers get a Terry Tempest Williams who is at the top of her game, the master of her craft...a gift from a writer who knows how to split the world open. Cheryl Strayed, Orion

Video

About the Author

Terry Tempest Williams is the award-winning author of fourteen books, including Leap, An Unspoken Hunger, Refuge, and, most recently, Finding Beauty in a Broken World. She divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Moose, Wyoming.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

KEB, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by KEB)
Terry Tempest Williams compassionately and unflinchingly examines her relationship with her mother through contemplations on her mother's journals. The shelves of journals that her mother left to her were all blank. Each of the 54 short chapters is a variation on voice -- and also the age of her mother when she died. Beautifully written.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Neil Reid, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Neil Reid)
What voice do you speak into an empty space? What voice do you hear? These are not shallow questions. You'll here discover the meaning both literal and figurative about blank pages in a book. Never have I seen, nor read, blank pages with so much meaning as here begins this quest of a book by Terry Tempest Williams. You want to touch them with your fingertips, sense the possibilities, the strength of words unwritten, the power of imagination implied. This was in part the legacy left to her by a mother now passed away, yet whose imprint is unmistakable in the spirit of relationship, mother to daughter. Here traced and burrowed and poetically ladled is Ms. Williams journey to answer that question. She thought she knew what to expect, yet now finds that path requires rediscovery. Ultimately coming to the question, what living voice of hers is there to speak into this same seeming emptiness? Here is a sky filled with wings!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Kelly Portland, October 16, 2012 (view all comments by Kelly Portland)
Every time I read a Terry Tempest Williams book I slow down, listen to her voice resonating from the page. It is a warm and resolute voice. Words matter, the world matters. And if words matter, how will she find meaning in the blank pages of her mother’s journals? (Read the book!) I was moved by her search. It is personal, but connected to so many women’s stories. WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS is a meaningful exploration, a celebration.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374288976
Subtitle:
Fifty-four Variations on Voice
Author:
Williams, Terry Tempest
Author:
Williams, Terry Tempest
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Biography-Women
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper with Flaps
Publication Date:
20130305
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 Black-and-White Illustrations
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.875 x 5.5 in

Other books you might like

  1. Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert Used Hardcover $10.50
  2. Intimate nature :the bond between... Used Hardcover $3.50
  3. Testimony Writers of the West Speak On Used Trade Paper $5.95
  4. Song of the Departed: Selected Poems... Used Trade Paper $10.16
  5. Forever Paris: 25 Walks in the... Sale Hardcover $7.98
  6. Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty... Used Trade Paper $7.95

Related Subjects


Biography » Women
Children's » General
Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » New Arrivals
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Featured Titles
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Natural History » General
Sports and Outdoors » Martial Arts » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Martial Arts » General
Transportation » Aviation » General

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374288976 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Williams, the sensitive author of Refuge, is shocked to discover her deceased mother's unwritten memoirs — shelves worth of blank pages. Under such unpromising circumstances commences a kaleidoscopic celebration and palimpsest — all metaphorical cliches but apt — on finding a voice and woman's identity beyond the silenced, selfless existence informed by children and a husband — even a family brimming with love. The empty pages of a journal manifest a hermeneutics of suspicion: the white upon which to project a lifelong journey of self-discovery. In 54 meditations (one for each year of her mother's life, and of Williams's life to date), we learn about an unusual (patriarchal) Mormon background and an upbringing that included a season of homeschooling in Hawaii, encounters with a husband-and-wife team of John Bircher's while teaching high school biology , a job at the Museum of Natural History in New York City, and the meeting of her future mate over a discussion of books and birds. Among deep influences are Nobel Peace Prize-winner and environmentalist Wangari Maathai; Helene Cixous; Clarice Lispector; the secret-women's language of China...and the soaring operas of Richard Strauss. 'If a man knew what a woman never forgets, he would love her differently,' Williams declares in her bighearted, deliberative hymn: old themes newly warbled. Agent: Carl Brandt, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "The writing of Terry Tempest Williams is brilliant, meditative, and full of surprises, wisdom, and wonder. She's one of those writers who changes people's lives by encouraging attention and a slow, patient awakening."
"Review" by , "Much more than a brave and luminous memoir, When Women Were Birds is a set of blueprints for building one of Americas most impassioned and audacious writers, as well as a transcript of the moment when she stepped determinedly into the full power of her own voice. In Terry's magical equation, rage + confusion + grief + accountability = love. At some point I realized I was reading every page twice trying to memorize each insight, each bit of hard-won wisdom. Then I realized I could keep it on my bedside table and read it every night."
"Review" by , "Somehow, miraculously, Terry Tempest Williams has done it again: written a book that no one else could have, that tells the truth about our lives. If you want to understand how a writer finds her voice, read this gorgeous book."
"Review" by , "When Women Were Birds is a wise and beautiful and intelligent book, written for the women, men, and children of our times. It vibrates with the earned honesty of a great soul. It is a gift, passed on to readers with the same spirit of love and generosity with which it was first given to the author by her mother. A remarkable journey, a remarkable story."
"Review" by , "Williams narrates stories that range wide and run deep...Here, readers get a Terry Tempest Williams who is at the top of her game, the master of her craft...a gift from a writer who knows how to split the world open.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.