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When Women Were Birds:
Fifty-Four Variations on Voice

Terry Tempest Williams
In conversation with Louise Steinman
May 9, 2012

Upon her mother’s passing, Williams inherited three shelves of journals. Not only was it a shock that her mother kept journals, but it was also a shock to see what the journals contained-pages and pages of blank pages. In fifty-four chapters that unfold like a series of yoga poses, each with its own logic and beauty, Williams-author of the iconic memoir Refuge-creates a soaring meditation on the mystery of her mother’s empty journals, always asking, “What does it mean to have a voice?”

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