Surveying the Literary Landscapes of Terry Tempest Williams

Not since Edward Abbey has one writer spoken so passionately about the desert places of the American West as has Terry Tempest Williams. In this first book of criticism to address the work of one of the West’s finest daughters, Katherine Chandler and Melissa Goldthwaite collect the work of sixteen respected scholars who each examine some aspect of courage, wisdom, or place in Williams’s work, in an attempt to "get behind the heart" of her literary vision.

Katherine R. Chandler is assistant professor of English at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Melissa A. Goldthwaite is assistant professor of English at Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia

Table of Contents:

Beginning Words: Introduction and Invitation: Katherine R. Chandler and Melissa A. Goldthwaite
Beyond the Blithe Air: The Post-Nuclear Transcendentalism of Williams: Elizabeth Dodd
Bombs in the Desert: Williams’s 'All That Is Hidden': Nathaniel Hart
Embodied Mutuality: Reconnecting to Environment and Self: Mary Newell
Beyond Mere Embrace in Desert Quartet: An Erotic Landscape: Sharon Reynolds
Deconstructing the Language of Opposition: Locating an Erotics of Place in Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert: Jeanette E. Riley and Maureen Schirack
Sound Ground to Stand On: Soundscapes in Williams’s Work: Masami Raker Yuki
In Cahoots with Poetry: Williams as Prose Poet in 'An Unspoken Hunger' and 'Desert Quartet': Robert Miltner
When Burke Meets Williams: A Study of Landscape, Story, Identity, and Politics: Lisa Eastmond
Rhetoric + Feminism = Williams’s Poetic Means: Transforming Triptychs of Body, Form, and Faith in Leap: Melissa A. Goldthwaite
One Wild Word: Leap and the Art of Restoration: Bart Welling
Integrating Science and Faith: Williams and the Erotics of Place: Richard Hunt
Potsherds and Petroglyphs: Unearthing Latter-day Saint Sources for Williams’s Environmental Vision: Katherine R. Chandler
A New Thought in Familiar Country: Williams’s Witnessing Ethics: Lisa Diedrich
Corporeal Testimony: Counting the Bodies in Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place: Tina Richardson
The Ecopolitical Space of Refuge: Karl Zuelke


Praise and Reviews:

"A gathering of skilled critical essays on the work of one of our generations most valued writers; it is keen and perceptive, and rich in understanding… These essays illuminate the core themes of Williams’s writing—an extraordinary reading of place, superb storytelling, deeply-rooted sense of family, skilled observations as a natural history writer—and will add to the enjoyment of those of us who cherish and respect her writing, as well as to those students for whom her work is a beacon."—Ann Zwinger, author of The Nearsighted Naturalist

"This is an excellent collection of essays which would be of value to scholars interested in ecofeminist writing, nature writing, memoir and autobiography, cancer narratives, and creative writing. It could be used for personal edification as well as pedagogical purposes, and can stand proudly as the first collection of critical essays on the oeurve of Terry Tempest Williams."—Rocky Mountain Review

"Richly engaging and provocative."—CHOICE

"Moves the terms of scholarly debate in literature and environment forward. The book's lucid, well-argued essays represent a range of sophisticated analysis."—ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment