Terry Tempest Williams discusses "When Women Were Birds"

7:00 PM  - 8:30 PM
Monday Mar 11, 2013
Center for Religious and Spiritual Life Lounge, Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel

The beloved author of Refugereturns with a work that explodes and startles, illuminates and celebrates.

“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 ofHelp, Thanks, Wow

Readers of Williams’s iconic and unconventional memoir, Refuge, well remember Terry Tempest Williams’ 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.  In When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice (available in paperback, March 5, 2013), Terry Tempest Williams tells what she discovered in those books:

“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.”

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?”

“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, author ofWild

This event will be held in the Weyerhaeuser Chapel, on the campus of Macalester College.


Terry Tempest Williams is the award-winning author of fourteen books, including Leap, An Unspoken Hunger, Refuge, and Finding Beauty in a Broken World. She divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Moose, Wyoming.


This event is for: Alumni, Students, Staff, Faculty, Parents and Families and Public

Admission: free

Sponsored By: English, Environmental Studies

Categories: Front Page Events and Lectures and Speakers