Book review: Erosion: Essays of Undoing — by Terry Tempest Williams
At the close of a recent virtual conversation about her new collection of essays, Terry Tempest Williams, educator, naturalist, writer and activist, howled towards the sky from her living room in the wilds of Utah, and joyously enlivened the last minutes of a deep and profound book talk, reminding listeners to fiercely pursue life and connection. The stories she relates in her essays, with topics ranging from eroding public lands, the fossil fuel industry, sacred lands and the climate crisis, are a means of connection, and through connection, she builds compassion. In her preface, she writes: “When everything feels like it is coming apart, the art of assemblage feels like a worthy pastime.” Throughout her essays, it’s easy to sense the spiritual essence of the land, and Williams contends that the stories we tell ourselves, stories as old as time, our creation myths, are a means of connecting us to the earth, and if that is so, then being of this earth must be enough. She also speaks of hope, of the essential nature of hope, and how even as it is being worn away, what is uncovered can be just as strong, and of how she knows, even when the forest is burning, it’s dropping seeds.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
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