When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams

When Women Were BirdsWHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
Terry Tempest Williams
Picador / $15.00 / 256 pages
On Sale: February 26, 2013

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Terry Tempest Williams, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

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

“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.”San Francisco Chronicle

“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

“This poetic memoir continues the work Williams began in Refuge….Williams explores her mother’s identity—woman, wife, mother, and Mormon—as she continues to honor her memory….A lyrical and elliptical meditation on women, nature, family, and history.”—The Boston Globe

“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 readingbetween 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.”Susan Salter Reynolds, The Daily Beast

“I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won’t look at them until after I’m gone.” This is what Terry Tempest Williams’s mother, the matriarch of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah, told her a week before she died. It was a shock to Williams to discover that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock to discover that the three shelves of journals were all blank.

In WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS: Fifty-four Variations on Voice (Picador / On Sale: February 26, 2013 / ISBN: 978-1-250-02411-4 / $15.00), Williams recounts memories of her mother, ponders her own Mormon faith, and contemplates the notion of absence in art and in our world. WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS is a carefully crafted kaleidoscope that keeps turning around the question: What does it mean to have a voice?

is the author of fourteen books, including Refuge, Leap, The Open Space of Democracy, and most recently, Finding Beauty in a Broken World. The recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Fellowship in creative nonfiction, she divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Moose, Wyoming.

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