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

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?"

Title When Women Were Birds
Subtitle Fifty-four Variations on Voice
Author Terry Tempest Williams
Publisher Picador
Title First Published 26 February 2013
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 256 p.
ISBN-10 1250024110
ISBN-13 9781250024114
Publication Date 26 February 2013
Main content page count 256
Weight 16 oz.

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