Stones Witness

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Nine miles down a primitive trail, over hills of sand and rock, across ankle-deep streams, and around mires of quickmud lies Kiet Seel, a thirteenth-century ancestral Puebloan ruin. This is the place, ancient and enduring, from which Margaret Randall begins her meditations in Stones Witness. Randall explores her connections to land and landscape, history and culture, language and memory, drawing from the events of her own rich history to create a universal link between place, time, and identity. A fluid and provocative collection of poetry, prose, and photographs, Stones Witness is in part an account of an extraordinary woman’s radically committed and inventive life. Widely known as an author, activist, oral historian, photographer, translator, and teacher, Randall has dedicated her efforts globally to achieving social and environmental change. Yet with a life so varied and so prolific, Randall maintains permanence through her relationship to the earth and its sacred places. And as she situates her own political involvement within a larger cultural context, again and again she returns her focus to the land, the spaces in which people have “birthed and buried . . . made art” for centuries. Randall’s tone is lyrical and elegiac, urgent yet gentle, a collage of words and images that is at once gratifying and morally intense. With an artist’s sensibility, Randall explores landscapes of the soul and of the past, histories of conquest and assimilation, nuances of gender and womanhood, love and difference, power and its abuses. While Randall’s words probe timeless and intimate questions on the nature of being, she grounds these reflections in place. Her words and photographs take us from the paintings surviving on the walls of Kiet Seel to the paintings preserved on the walls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With her we visit red rock canyons, touch ancient stones, and feel the ebb and flow of the natural world. In a text—a testimony—that is always in motion, Margaret Randall transcends the boundaries between politics and ethics, culture and environment. Stones Witness sutures the edges of time, the gaps of language, the connections between person and place that are essential for the earth’s survival—and for ours.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

A woman of many talents, poet, oral historian, essayist, photographer, and activist Randall has written over 100 books, so it is no surprise that her latest essay collection reads more like a memoir. This is especially evident in her prose, including the opening piece, "Memory of Samothrace," which offers an intimate explanation of the spark that lit Randall's incredible journey: "I remember these outings with all the thrill of a young child discovering the wonders of other cultures, of art." Her poetry paints beautiful photographs of civilizations that have suffered at the hands of European cultures and the remnants of what could have been. In the moving "The Language in My Blood," Randall shows the cycle of discrimination that she works to eliminate: "But that little blond-haired boy speaks Spanish like a native...she turned to her companion. They laughed." The inclusion of her photographs of stone ruins in South America adds a sense of humanity to Randall's honest words. Recommended for all libraries.
—Ashanti White

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816526437
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Randall has written dozens of books, including When I Look into the Mirror and See You: Women, Terror, and Resistance, Sandino’s Daughters, and The Price You Pay: The Hidden Cost of Women’s Relationship to Money, and is the founder of the bilingual poetry journal El Corno Emplumado/The Plumed Horn. In 2004 she was awarded PEN New Mexico’s Dorothy Doyle Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing and Human Rights Activism.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 9, 2014

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

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