Thursday, July 2, 2015

When Women were Birds: 54 Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams

20. A Book with a Number in the Title

 Terry Tempest William's mother died when she was 54. She told Terry that when she died, Terry would get all her journals. Terry's mother kept years and years worth of journals. When Terry opened them up after she had died all she found were blank pages. Book after book, year after year, white page after white page, nothing but blank white pages.

 Terry uses this fact quite brilliantly as a metaphor for her mothers voice and in fact women's voices everywhere. She tells 54 tales of voice, 54 ways to ponder her mother's enigmatic journal. There were tales of being frightened by creepy men in the wilderness and never telling anyone. Tales of testifying before congress. Tales of her mother's journey, of meeting her husband. All ways of looking at our voice both realistically and metaphorically.

 This book had an ethereal zen like quality. You could read it again and again and find new lessons every time. Lots of prompts for writers. Lots of things to ponder for women and members of the human race. I loved it. It makes me want to write another variation on voice.

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