Transported by the Passionate Voice of Terry Tempest Williams
| Jun 12, 2012 1:00 PM
It is difficult for me to write about books and their authors, especially when I believe that the author is particularly gifted. My own use of the language seems imprecise, muddled, awkward, and lacking in grace, charm, and clarity. Any truly great piece of writing deserves a better commentator than me. And so the best I can do is to be brief.
Recently, Terry Tempest Williams (pictured at right), celebrated Utah writer and naturalist, came to the Annette Poulson Cumming building of the College of Nursing to deliver a special reading of her new book, “When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice,” (published in April by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, see these reviews for more information: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/entertainment/53725965-81/williams-says-women-journals.html.csp http://articles.boston.com/2012-04-12/books/31317239_1_journals-williams-traces-slates). The location could not have been more fitting, as it was the close friendship between Annette and Terry that made this event possible. The book is filled with reflections about Terry’s mother, who passed away years ago at the age of 54, the same age as Terry when she began to write this book. It’s a passionate, deeply personal book, and her reading was remarkable in its clarity of voice, passion of being, and generosity of spirit.
In that short time, we were transported. We reflected personally about our roles and relationships as sons and daughters, and we paid tribute to and pondered the mysteries of our own mothers. We thought about our children and the legacies we would leave them. We were united in the common humanity that we often seem to forget we share. We were all moved. We all rejoiced in the power of the human voice, and we were grateful that for that short time, a very special person shared her gifts with us.
Author: Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.
About the Author: Dr. Vivian S. Lee is the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Utah, Dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine, and CEO of University of Utah Health Care. Read her full bio herecomments powered by Disqus