When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
- 01 Mar 2013
- 256 pages - 181 x 114mm
“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 fifty-four short chapters, 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?
“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 honour her memory....A lyrical and elliptical meditation on women, nature, family, and history.”—The Boston Globe