The only constants in nature are change and death. Terry Tempest Williams, a naturalist and writer from northern Utah, has seen her share of both. The pages of Refuge resound with the deaths of her mother and grandmother and other women from cancer, the result of the American government's ongoing nuclear-weapons tests in the nearby Nevada desert. You won't find the episode in the standard history textbooks; the Feds wouldn't admit to conducting the tests until women and men in Utah, Nevada, and northwestern Arizona took the matter to court in the mid-1980s, and by then thousands of Americans had fallen victim to official technology. Parallel to her account of this devastation, Williams describes changes in bird life at the sanctuaries dotting the shores of the Great Salt Lake as water levels rose during the unusually wet early 1980s and threatened the nesting grounds of dozens of species. In this world of shattered eggs and drowned shorebirds, Williams reckons with the meaning of life, alternating despair and joy.
Utah naturalist Williams ponders the loss of her mother to cancer and the disastrous flooding of a bird refuge in a moving account of the interrelations between personal tragedy and natural history. Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This author is heavily influenced by Annie Dillard, which obstructs her from developing her own voice so a lot of it sounds like Annie Dillard in the Great Basin. Read morePublished 1 month ago by A Customer
This is a remarkable book, and well deserves its reputation. Williams juxtaposes her mother’s death by cancer with a dying wildlife refuge as the Great Salt Lake floods. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Arthur Digbee
an unusual and moving memoir, with a paralleling of natural and human eventsPublished 3 months ago by H. Neswald
Everyone with a concern for the health of our dear earth and all her inhabitants, including us, should read this book! What a very fine, and moving, story!Published 3 months ago by Grammy
I think that anyone dealing with the elderly or anyone with dire illness needs to read this book. The author provides good insight in how to deal with death and dying. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Doctor Doctor