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    Bill CleggIn January of this year, eight months before its release date, the buzz was already starting to build for Bill Clegg's Did You Ever Have a Family.... Continue »
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      Did You Ever Have a Family

      Bill Clegg 9781476798172

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1 Hawthorne Nature Studies- General

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice


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

ISBN13: 9781250024114
ISBN10: 1250024110
Condition: Standard
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Chapter 1

I AM FIFTY-FOUR YEARS OLD, the age my mother was when she died. This is what I remember: We were lying on her bed with a mohair blanket covering us. I was rubbing her back, feeling each vertebra with my fingers as a rung on a ladder. It was January, and the ruthless clamp of cold bore down on us outside. Yet inside, Mother's tenderness and clarity of mind carried its own warmth. She was dying in the same way she was living, consciously.

"I am leaving you all my journals," she said, facing the shuttered window as I continued rubbing her back. "But you must promise me that you will not look at them until after I am gone."

I gave her my word. And then she told me where they were. I didn't know my mother kept journals.

A week later she died. That night, there was a full moon encircled by ice crystals.

On the next full moon I found myself alone in the family home. I kept expecting Mother to appear. Her absence became her presence. It was the right time to read her journals. They were exactly where she said they would be: three shelves of beautiful clothbound books; some floral, some paisley, others in solid colors. The spines of each were perfectly aligned against the lip of the shelves. I opened the first journal. It was empty. I opened the second journal. It was empty. I opened the third. It, too, was empty, as was the fourth, the fifth, the sixth--shelf after shelf after shelf, all my mother's journals were blank.

WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS Copyright 2012 by Terry Tempest Williams

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c.e.davis, January 31, 2013 (view all comments by c.e.davis)
My favorite book this year! When I reached the last page, I immediately turned back to page one and started all over again.
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Rocky Mountain Birder, January 12, 2013 (view all comments by Rocky Mountain Birder)
A visit to pages written by Terry Tempest Williams always surprises, delights and informs me in the most delicious ways. This small work did not disappoint. Now I have read three times, written in the journal based on her content which stirred and moved my spirit. Another wonderful work of thoughtful composition by an outstanding author of this time.
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Product Details

Fifty-Four Variations on Voice
Williams, Terry Tempest
Williams, Terry Tempest
Picador USA
Edition Description:
Trade Paper with Flaps
Publication Date:
7.125 x 4.5 in

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When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice Used Trade Paper
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$7.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Picador USA - English 9781250024114 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Brilliant, meditative, and full of surprises, wisdom, and wonder."
"Review" by , "Williams displays a Whitmanesque embrace of the world and its contradictions....As the pages accumulate, her voice grows in majesty and power until it become a full-fledged aria."
"Review" by , "Williams is the kind of writer who makes a reader feel that [her] voice might also, one day, be heard....She cancels out isolation: Connections are woven as you sit in your chair reading — between you and the place you live, between you and other readers, you and the writer. Without knowing how it happened, your sense of home is deepened."
"Review" by , "Time, experience, and uncanny coincidence spiral through these pages....When Women Were Birds is an extraordinary echo chamber in which lessons about voice — passed along from mother, to daughter, and now to us — will reverberate differently in each inner ear."
"Review" by , "In some ways When Women Were Birds functions as a detective story, an attempt to solve a mystery. But its also a realization that often there are no answers…there's only the present."
"Review" by , "A lyrical, timeless book that rewards quiet, attentive reading — a rare thing."
"Review" by , "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."
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