For years, America's national parks have provided public breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing, which is why close to 300 million people visit the parks each year. Now, to honor the centennial of the National Park Service, Terry Tempest Williams, the author of the beloved memoir When Women Were Birds, returns with The Hour of Land, a literary celebration of our national parks, what they mean to us, and what we mean to them.
"Cultural Cross Sections"
Terry Tempest Williams's mother told her: "I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won't look at them until after I'm gone." Fans of Williams's iconic and unconventional memoir, Refuge, well remember that mother. She was a member of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah who developed cancer as a result of the nuclear testing in nearby Nevada. It was a shock to Williams that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock as what she found when the time came to read them.
"Amazing Story, Amazing Voice"
It is an extraordinary time. The tragic events of September 11, 2001 have propelled us all into a new cycle of our personal, national, and global lives. It will never be the same. There is no "normal" to get back to. Life is in this country is changed forever, and it seems clear that we have entered an era in which new questions need to be asked, because there are no easy answers or quick fixes.