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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Here is Terry Tempest Williams at her best. Sometimes subtly, sometimes emphatically, these delicate and heart-stoppingly lovely essays are offered in service of the wild. This compendium, she writes, "is a gesture and bow to my homeland" -- Utah's Redrock Desert, which, as of the September 2001 publication date, was to be opened up to oil drilling under the Bush/Cheney energy plan.
Yes, Red is nature writing; yes, it is memoir. And it is far, far more: the finest of literature, a new and shimmering philosophy of the sacred, deep ecology rendered as womanly experience. Be prepared to encounter a most unusual eroticism of the wild -- an eroticism that is outspokenly sexual but does not feed on flesh-to-flesh contact. Earth is William's beloved; the imagined and the mystical merge with the real.
Not once, but three times, and in response to distinct essays, I found myself scribbling notes the likes of, "No more elegant and moving support of wilderness has ever been written than this." Like her mentor, Aldo Leopold, Williams is both advocate and activist. This manifesto is neither polemic nor plea. As the subtitle suggests, her advocacy is an unrestrained passion that draws strength from the patience of rocks -- redrock, red hot.
"As we step over the threshold of the twenty-first century," she writes, "let us acknowledge that the preservation of wilderness is not so much a political process as a spiritual one, that the language of law and science used so successfully to define and defend what wilderness has been in the past century must now be fully joined with the language of the heart to illuminate what these lands mean to the future." Terry Tempest Williams does just that, in service of the wild, in service of her cherished Redrock wildlands. (Connie Barlow)