Title: RED: Passion and Patience in the Desert
Publisher: Pantheon, New York
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: fine
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: Stated First edition.
Sm 8vo. Brown quarter cloth over red boards, with gilt spine titles. End paper topographical maps. 258 pages. SIGNED by the author on the title page. Bookseller Inventory # 000477
Synopsis: ?It is a simple equation,? writes Terry Tempest Williams, ?place + people = politics.? Nowhere is this more apparent than in the American West, where millions of acres of wilderness are at stake in the redrock desert of southern Utah. ?How are we to find our way toward conversation?? she asks. One story at a time. Red traces Williams?s lifelong love of and commitment to the desert, as she explores what draws us to a place and keeps us there. It brings together the lyrical evocations of Coyote?s Canyon and Desert Quartet with new essays of great power and originality, essays that range from a family discussion on the desert tortoise to an investigation of slowness to startling encounters with Anasazi artifacts (including a ceremonial sash made of scarlet macaw feathers).
Pursuing the question of why America?s redrock wilderness matters to the soul of this country, Red bridges the divide between the political and the poetic and shows how this harshest and most fragile of landscapes inspires a soulful return to ?wild mercy.? The preservation of wildness is not simply a political process but a spiritual one.
With grace, humor, and the subtleties of her perception, Williams reminds us of what we have forgotten in the chaos of our lives and what can be reclaimed in the stillness of the desert.
Red is further proof that the writings of Terry Tempest Williams possess a revelatory power and an emotional intelligence at once rare and authentic.
Review: As a lifelong desert dweller, Terry Tempest Williams is intimately familiar with the multiple shades of red, and she explores many of them, among other things, in this tribute to the desert and canyon country of southern Utah that she holds so dear. In this collection of essays, poems, congressional testimony, and journal entries (some previously published), she ruminates on the meaning of wilderness and the need to preserve it as a way to save ourselves as much as the land itself. In Red, she lends an elegant and passionate voice to the growing "Coyote Clan" in southern Utah--"hundreds, maybe even thousands, of individuals who are quietly subversive on behalf of the land"--along with the many others ideologically in step with this movement. She also discusses those deeply resentful of active environmentalists as well as those seething at the U.S. government for the way it manages millions of acres of western land, writing that "Federal control in the American West remains an open wound." Some of these contrary voices even come from within her own clan, a reality she describes in an essay in which she gently debates the merits of the Endangered Species Act with her father and other family members who own and operate a construction company in Utah.
A beloved nature writer and environmental voice, Williams writes emotionally and even erotically of her relationship with the red-rock landscape surrounding her home outside Moab, closely analyzing the wildlife, human characters, and Anasazi petroglyphs of this magical, arid region. --Shawn Carkonen
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