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Erosion: Essays of Undoing

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Fierce, timely, and unsettling essays from an important and beloved writer and conservationist

Terry Tempest Williams's fierce, spirited, and magnificent essays are a howl in the desert. She sizes up the continuing assaults on America's public lands and the erosion of our commitment to the open space of democracy. She asks: "How do we find the strength to not look away fro
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Sarah Crichton Books
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
"We are eroding and evolving, all at once."

Terry Tempest Williams tackles the theme of erosion and undoing throughout these essays - examining topics of public lands, family, career, belief. There is an underlying tension between connectedness and grief that I've experienced in her writing before.

I'm posting this a few days after finishing and I just keep thinking about her losing her job at the University of Utah after she and her husband tried protecting some land by formin
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oof- this book is what the withered soul needs. For those of us living under oppressive Trump Era policies, Terry Tempest Williams says what we’re all feeling- with regards to his environmental (non)protection policies. She has had to live closely with them, as a resident of Utah, and an advocate for public and indigenous lands. Her essays are beautiful, personal, and reverent. She is reverent to herself, her land, and her people in a way that many of us have forgotten, or never learned.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
i smell the wound and it smells like me. this wound will not heal and is spreading as an infection. stabbed by our illusions and legacies of grandeur, we stagger through our forests of consumption. we are lost. we are in pain. and we don't know the cause or the cure of what is making us sick. we long for something more, when what we have is more than enough. we are becoming blind. we are becoming deaf. we are hobbling along the path of distractions, trying to find our way back or forward or sid
Ray Zimmerman
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Terry Tempest Williams is devoted to the preservation of public lands. She mourns the recent undoing of their protection. In the final section tells us that the time for anger is past, it is time for healing. She sees healing as restoration. She reveals a few bright spots of healing the landscape near the end of the book.

Bears Ears National Monument appears periodically in the book, but is ever present in the subtext. She documents efforts to preserve the area going back to Secretary of the Int
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Settled on four stars after some back-and-forth (I hate rating systems). I appreciate and am drawn to TTW's passion and her intent. She takes me straight into the landscape she loves, and which I, as a visitor, love as well. Her writing to me is uneven, a bit chunky, yet her devotion shines through and often elevates it. In particular, these essays spoke to me: "The Question Held by Owls", "Dwelling", Heart of the Matter: Erosion of Fear", "Will Bears Ears Become the Next Standing Rock?"...(and ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This a wake up call and a reconnecting work with nature. Terry’s analysis is shared with honesty and deep analysis. He is able to impact the reader and understand how precious and fragile is the life. Sublime!

Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-of-2019
"Wilderness becomes soul settling; a homecoming; a reminder of what we have forgotten -that where there is harmony there is wholeness."
Chad Guarino
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Erosion is a collection of essays by activist Terry Tempest Williams. As implied by the title, Williams focuses on the concept of erosion in politics, climate, public lands, and self. Focusing predominantly on the Trump administration's degradation of public lands in the American southwest for the use of fossil fuel special interests, Williams paints stark portraits of the plight of the Native People and the impact that ignoring climate change will have on future generations.

The majority of the
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you to NetGalley and Sarah Crichton Books for sending me a free ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

Erosion: Essays of Undoing, is a collection of environmental essays written by the author between 2012 and 2019. I was first drawn to this book because of the concept, which sounded promising: the essays were to explore “the concept of erosion: of the land, of the self, of belief, of fear”. I was also looking forward to reading pro-environment work on current issues. Unfortunately, I found the over 30“the/>Erosion:
Lauren Mendez
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books-read
Erosion comes out on October 8th and I would highly recommend this work. Erosion is a powerful collection of essays. This book was raw, alive, and honest. A trigger warning for this work is a section focused on suicide. The essays highlight so many moral issues intertwined with protecting the Earth. Terry discusses her experience growing up Mormon and the significant changes to her spirituality focused on interconnections with the natural world. Terry discusses the loss of her brother to suicide ...more
Lindsey Jacobs
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read in three sittings. TTW, much like Rebecca Solnit, always perfectly articulates what I’ve been feeling with words I couldn’t find myself. I’ve been feeling increasingly despondent since the 2016 election, ever more cynical. Having just returned from a week in Big Bend National Park with the coyotes and the cacti, I’m feeling renewed and this book provided some guideposts for infusing some of that reverence and connectedness into the day to day. Like the desert, like the canyons, we erode, ou ...more
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As always, she is my favorite. Her ability to capture my thoughts, but in a much more profound way. This book felt more vulnerable to me than others. More exposing of her personal ups and downs, including the loss of her brother and the struggle onany levels of her and her husbands purchase of oil and gas leases in Utah. There was deep exposure here. My favorite of the collection is A Beautiful, Rugged Place: Erosion of the Body. "Please write that addicts are good people sis", broke me. Read sl ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-books
I made the mistake, when I first started this book, of trying to read through the essays quickly. In doing this, I not only missed out on the author's beautiful writing but the message began to feel repetitive. Once I slowed down, savoring one or two essays in a sitting, I really starting to connect emotionally with the writing. Two in particular; "The Council of Pronghorn" and her interview with Tim DeChristopher are mesmerizing. Even read spread out some of the essays still felt redundant, but ...more
Laura Hoffman Brauman
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Williams is one of my favorite environmental writers. Her love of our wild spaces, in particular those of her home state of Utah, comes through in every sentence and turn of phrase. The theme in this collection is erosion . . . the wearing away of things like home, safety, the body and more. She is an advocate for preserving our wild spaces and speaks to the erosion of wilderness, in particular under our current administration. Her collection is powerful and moving - both in the way she brings t ...more
Edward Nugent
I have been a long time devotee of Terry Tempest Williams. Having spent the bulk of my adult life traipsing through, poking around in, and dwelling, to use her sense of the word, in the same country, she speaks in a familiar tongue. I too have developed a similar sense of reverence for the place. At a time when it seems our collective soul is eroding, TTW reminds us that the eroded landscape of the Colorado Plateau continues as a source of great beauty, strength, perseverance, action, renewal, a ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Raw,, unflinching beauty

TTW weaves her personal life flawlessly into the essays of erosion. She addresses issues of our relationships with place, land and people impeccably. If you care about our lands and the people who live on them, this is a must read from today's greatest Naturalist.
Morgan Brown
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
"A Galapagos Journal" and the conversation between TTW and Tim DeChristopher were favorites of mine from this collection.
Ann Cooper
Serious and rather grim essays about the state of the natural--and human--world's undoing. Not happy reading although well written and passionate. The author claims still to be an optimist . . .
Rhonda Lomazow
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Thomas Devlin
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Nature Literature: Erosion discussion 11 26 Nov 15, 2019 03:01AM  

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Terry Tempest Williams is an American author, conservationist and activist. Williams’ writing is rooted in the American West and has been significantly influenced by the arid landscape of her native Utah in which she was raised. Her work ranges from issues of ecology and wilderness preservation, to women's health, to exploring our relationship to culture and nature.

She has testified be