$27.00ISBN: 9780374280062Availability: On Our Shelves NowPublished: Sarah Crichton Books - October 8th, 2019
Once in a great while a book strips you to the marrow. Erosion did this to me. Undid me completely. I’ve been—we’ve all been—desperate in this time of desecration and destruction. Terry Tempest Williams holds up a mirror for us, reflecting our pain by showing us hers in both a personal and a global sense, not only forcing us to look squarely at the political and environmental landscapes, but to regard them from new angles. In the first essay she makes clear that the world she so loves is disintegrating, herself along with it, and that the only way to fight off despair is to not just see the erosion of so much that we love for what it is, the pain of it, but, as her father tells her, to stare it down. The pain of it. The grief. The metaphors for doing so are as rich and varied as the earth she writes of. The night vision of owls, the helping hand of community, the reality reflected in bleached bones....The cast of characters who populate our ravaged world are all there in vivid prose and poetry as well: owl, sage grouse, prairie dog, polar bear, protesters, storytellers, drillers, politicians, all crisscrossing the eroding landscape, hiding, flying wild, denying, meeting, fighting. The price she’s paid for her own fight is recited, the loss of a job, a way of life, a landscape, as she seeks answers in other places, at Harvard Divinity School where she now teaches, attempting to learn about the ongoing erosion not only of place but of community and of the body politic, of democracy. The erosion, in other words, of all we know. Her brother dies. Suicide. The unthinkable pain of it. Our future, eroding as we watch. The need to fight—and, finally, the hope that can come. The fight for Bears Ears now in court, the fight for San Juan County, won against all odds. Her view is not from the peaks of wilderness but from bedrock—the only place we can viscerally feel the need for change.