Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

Terry Tempest Williams
In the spring of 1983 Terry Tempest Williams learned that her mother was dying of cancer. That same season, The Great Salt Lake began to rise to record heights, threatening the herons, owls, and snowy egrets that Williams, a poet and naturalist, had come to gauge her life by. One event was nature at its most random, the other a by-product of rogue technology: Terry's mother, and Terry herself, had been exposed to the fallout of atomic bomb tests in the 1950s. As it interweaves these narratives of dying and accommodation, Refuge transforms tragedy into a document of renewal and spiritual grace, resulting in a work that has become a classic.From the Trade Paperback edition.


Reviewed: 2019-03-11

I first learned of Terry Tempest Williams when reading her autobiographical story, "The Clan of One-Breasted Women" when it was printed in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1990. Her life, her devotion to Nature and her family, and her remarkable insight drew me in entirely. This book elaborates remarkably on the original story, and its writing was an act of courage and deep generosity.

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