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When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice Paperback – February 26, 2013
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“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
“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 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.” ―Susan Salter Reynolds, The Daily Beast
“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.” ―The Seattle Times
“A beautiful, powerful, important book….Nothing I've ever read has done this to me. Is this what religious people feel when they pray, I wonder? ...Terry Tempest Williams has written something that has revealed me and affirmed me and changed me. In sharing her voice, she has summoned mine.” ―Rebecca Joines Schinsky, Book Riot
“In some ways When Women Were Birds functions as a detective story, an attempt to solve a mystery. But it's also a realization that often there are no answers…there's only the present.” ―The Salt Lake Tribune
“A lyrical, timeless book that rewards quiet, attentive reading--a rare thing.” ―The Huffington Post
“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.” ―Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted
About the Author
Terry Tempest Williams is the award-winning author of fourteen books, including Leap, An Unspoken Hunger, Refuge, and, most recently, Finding Beauty in a Broken World. She divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Moose, Wyoming.
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The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because she keeps repeating the fact that her mother left her empty journals. (I know she is trying to be poetic in her repetition but it doesn't quite work. I'm a poet so I struggle with the issue of using poetic devices in prose.) Overall I recommend this book.
The hard cover physical version is creatively conceived and produced.
I loved the silhouette of birds flying in the right hand margins (as in a flip book)
I loved the many blank pages at the beginning that echo the journals T.T. Williams inherits from her mother.
THE SOFT COVER VERSION WAS A GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT, ESPECIALLY AS I INTENDED THE BOOK
AS A GIFT for someone who would have greatly appreciated the added creative touches!
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