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I AM FIFTY-FOUR YEARS OLD, the age my mother was when she died. This is what I remember: We were lying on her bed with a mohair blanket covering us. I was rubbing her back, feeling each vertebra with my fingers as a rung on a ladder. It was January, and the ruthless clamp of cold bore down on us outside. Yet inside, Mother's tenderness and clarity of mind carried its own warmth. She was dying in the same way she was living, consciously.
"I am leaving you all my journals," she said, facing the shuttered window as I continued rubbing her back.
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Terry Tempest Williams reads from "When Women Were Birds" June 21, 2012 at ?Bellingham High School? in Bellingham, Washington. This presentation was sponsored by North Cascades Institute and Village Books as part of "The Nature of Writing" series and was attended by more than 400 people.
Laura Flanders interviews Terry Tempest Williams on GRITtv.
Terry Tempest Williams has spent much of her life trying to understand her mother - both a private woman and a trickster. Her memoir is also an exploration of silence and finding one's voice.
Terry Tempest Williams reads the first chapter of When Women Were Birds
“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“Much more than a brave and luminous memoir, When Women Were Birds is a set of blueprints for building one of America’s most impassioned and audacious writers, as well as a transcript of the moment when she stepped determinedly into the full power of her own voice. In Terry’s magical equation, rage + confusion + grief + accountability = love. 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“Somehow, miraculously, Terry Tempest Williams has done it again: written a book that no one else could have, that tells the truth about our lives. If you want to understand how a writer finds her voice, read this gorgeous book.” —Sue Halpern, author of Can’t Remember What I Forgot“When Women Were Birds is a wise and beautiful and intelligent book, written for the women, men, and children of our times. It vibrates with the earned honesty of a great soul. It is a gift, passed on to readers with the same spirit of love and generosity with which it was first given to the author by her mother. A remarkable journey, a remarkable story.” —Rick Bass, author of The Wild Marsh“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
Terry Tempest Williams Talks About Her New Book, ‘When Women Were Birds’ - The Daily BeastUtah author Terry Tempest Williams talks to Susan Salter Reynolds about her Mormon childhood, the power of memory, and her reaction to a life-threatening illness. - Daily Beast
Terry Tempest Williams - When Women Were Birds - Oprah.comHow a mother's bequest taught her daughter to think differently about writing.- Oprah.com
"When women were birds": Reading blank journals - Nonfiction - Salon.comA writer makes sense of the rows of empty cloth-bound diaries her mother left her- Salon
Author Terry Tempest Williams considers the riddle of women’s silence
| The Salt Lake TribuneCONTENT=Terry Tempest Williams is the kind of reader who writes “Yes!” in the margins of her favorite books. - Salt Lake Tribune
‘When Women Were Birds’ by Terry Tempest Williams - Boston.comTerry Tempest Williams’s new memoir begins with this stark, bleached declaration: “I am fifty-four years old, the age my mother was when she died.” The mother had bequeathed to the daughter- Boston Globe
Book Review: 'When Women Were Birds' by Terry Tempest Williams | Health, Beauty, Fashion, Love, Careers and more - MORE MagazineA story about the diarist as published in the April 2012 issue- More
'When Women Were Birds' review: Exploring the mystery of mother's 'paper tombstones' | OregonLive.comOne month after her mother died, missing her voice terribly, Williams found three shelves filled with journals in her family home: "I opened the first journal. It was empty.- The Oregonian
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.
Terry Tempest Williams
PEN Center USA Literary Award Finalist