Terry Tempest Williams and Brook Williams, The Story of My Heart, at Albuquerque Academy

While browsing a Stonington, Maine, bookstore, Brooke Williams and Terry Tempest Williams discovered a rare copy of an exquisite autobiography by nineteenth-century British nature writer Richard Jefferies, who develops his understanding of a "soul-life" while wandering the wild countryside of Wiltshire, England. Brooke and Terry, like John Fowles, Henry Miller, and Rachel Carson before, were inspired by the prescient words of this visionary writer, who describes ineffable feelings of being at one with nature. In an introduction and essays set alongside Jefferies' writing, the Williams share their personal pilgrimage to Wiltshire to understand this man of "cosmic consciousness" and how their exploration of Jefferies deepened their own relationship while illuminating dilemmas of modernity, the intrinsic need for wildness, and what it means to be human in the twenty-first century.

John Richard Jefferies (6 November 1848 - 14 August 1887) was a British novelist and essayist who helped pioneer the field of modern nature writing. Jefferies described the English countryside with an intimate vividness and expansive passion that inspired both his contemporaries and later writers.

Terry Tempest Williams is the author of fourteen books including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, and most recently, When Women Were Birds. Recipient of John Simon Guggenheim and Lannan Literary Fellowships in creative nonfiction, she is the Annie Clark Tanner scholar in the Environmental Humanities Graduate Program at the University of Utah. Her work has been anthologized and translated world-wide.

Brooke Williams has spent thirty years advocating for wildness, most recently with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and as the Executive Director of the Murie Center in Moose, Wyoming. He holds an MBA in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and a Biology degree from the University of Utah. He's written four books including Halflives: Reconciling Work and Wildness, and dozens of articles. He is involved in The Great West Institute, a think tank exploring expansion and innovation in the conservation movement and is currently working on a book about ground-truthing.

Brooke and Terry have been married since 1975. They live with their dogs in Jackson, Wyoming, and Castle Valley, Utah.

"Brooke and Terry give a sense of cohesion to Jefferies's writing, and leave readers with much to ponder about our own chaotic, fast-paced, work-obsessed world."
--Publishers Weekly

"This perfect little package of a book reads like a hymnal, a philosophical treatise, a love story and a meandering walk up a grassy knoll. When Terry and Brooke happened upon a rare copy of Jefferies' memoir, it sparked in them an obsession with the little known 19th century British nature writer. What resulted is his original text set alongside their own musings and journeys, a balanced meditation on how one is to find a 'soul-life' in the natural world, as it ever changes and disappears."
--Melinda Powers, Bookshop Santa Cruz

"Williams displays a Whitmanesque embrace of the world and its contradictions...As the pages accumulate, her voice grows in majesty and power until it become a full-fledged aria." --San Francisco Chronicle

Event date: 
Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Albuquerque Academy
6400 Wyoming Blvd NE
87109 Albuquerque
The Story of My Heart Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781937226411
Published: Torrey House Press - November 4th, 2014

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250024114
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - February 26th, 2013

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Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wipf & Stock Publishers - January 1st, 2010

Finding Beauty in a Broken World Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780375725197
Published: Vintage - October 6th, 2009

Voice in the Wilderness: Conversations with Terry Tempest Williams Cover Image
By Michael Austin (Editor)
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ISBN: 9780874216349
Published: Utah State University Press - August 15th, 2006

Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375725180
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - October 8th, 2002

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679740247
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - September 1st, 1992

Halflives: Reconciling Work And Wildness Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781559635776
Published: Island Press - September 1st, 1999

Escalante: The Best Kind of Nothing (Desert Places ) Cover Image
By Brooke Williams, Chris Noble (By (photographer))
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ISBN: 9780816524587
Published: University of Arizona Press - September 15th, 2006