Surveying the Literary Landscapes of Terry Tempest Williams
New Critical Essays
Edited by Katherine R. Chandler and Melissa A. Goldthwaite
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.
Katherine R. Chandler, S. Mary’s College of Maryland
Lisa Diedrich, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Elizabeth Dodd, Kansas State University
Lisa Eastmond, Utah Valley State College Writing Center
Melissa A. Goldthwaite, Saint Joseph’s University
Nathaniel I. Hart, University of Minnesota at Morris
Richard Hunt, Kirkwood Community College, Iowa
Robert Miltner, Kent State University, Stark Campus, Ohio
Mary Newell, Fordham University, graduate student at time of this writing
Sharon A. Reynolds, Palomar College, San Marcos, California
Tina Richardson, University of Oregon, graduate student at time of this writing
Jeanette E. Riley, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Maureen K. Schirack, University of Akron, graduate student at time of this writing
Bart H. Welling, University of Virginia, graduate student at time of this writing
Masami Raker Yuki, Kanazawa University, Japan
Karl Zuelke, University of Cincinnati, graduate student at time of this writing
Table of Contents:
Beginning Words: Introduction and Invitation ~ Katherine R. Chandler and Melissa A. Goldthwaite
Beyond the Blithe Air: Williams's Postnuclear Transcendentalism ~ Elizabeth Dodd
Bombs in the Desert: Williams's "All That Is Hidden" ~ Nathaniel I. Hart
Embodied Mutuality: Reconnection to Environment and Self in An Unspoken Hunger ~ Mary Newell
Beyond Mere Embrace in Desert Quartet: An Erotic Landscape ~ Sharon A. Reynolds
Deconstructing the Language of Opposition: Locating William's Erotics of Place ~ Jeanette E. Riley and Maureen K. Schirack
CRAFT AND RHETORIC
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 H. Welling
FAITH, ETHICS, POLITICS
Integrating Science and Faith: Williams and the Erotics of Place ~ Richard Hunt
Potsherd and Petroglyphs: Unearthing Latter-day Saints 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
List of Contributors
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."
"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