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When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice

In conversation with Louise Steinman
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Episode Summary

Upon her mother's passing, Williams inherited three shelves of journals. Not only was it a shock that her mother kept journals, but it was also a shock to see what the journals contained-pages and pages of blank pages. In fifty-four chapters that unfold like a series of yoga poses, each with its own logic and beauty, Williams-author of the iconic memoir Refuge-creates a soaring meditation on the mystery of her mother's empty journals, always asking, \"What does it mean to have a voice?\"

Participant(s) Bio

Terry Tempest Williams is a "citizen writer" who has testified before Congress on women's health issues, been a guest at the White House, camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska wildernesses and worked as "a barefoot artist" in Rwanda. She is the award-winning author of fourteen books, including Leap, An Unspoken Hunger, Refuge, and most recently, Finding Beauty in a Broken World. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society. She is currently the Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah.

Louise Steinman is curator of the award-winning ALOUD series and Co-Director of the Los Angeles Institute for Humanities at USC. She is the author of two books, most recently, The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father's War, awarded the Gold Medal in Autobiography from ForeWord Magazine and the selection of several all-city and all-freshman reads programs. Her work appears in The Los Angeles Review of Books, and on her blog.