“The Williamses anchor Jefferies’ profound inquiry to our churning world and illuminate their own passionate quests for truth and understanding.”
—BOOKLIST, starred review
Originally published in 1883, The Story of My Heart explores the existence of a “soul-life” as British nature writer Richard Jefferies experienced while wandering in England. With an introduction by Terry and essays by Brooke alongside Jefferies’ original work, these two beloved writers and environmentalists contemplate dilemmas of modernity, the intrinsic need for wildness, and what it means to be human in the 21st century. Scott Slovic, editor of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, provides the afterword.
Terry Tempest Williams is the author of fourteen books including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; and most recently, When Women Were Birds. Recipient of John Simon Guggenheim and Lannan Literary Fellowships in creative nonfiction, she is the Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in the Environmental Humanities Graduate Program at the University of Utah. Her work has been anthologized and translated worldwide.
Terry and Brooke have been married since 1975. They live with their dogs in Jackson, Wyoming, and Castle Valley, Utah.
Brooke Williams has spent thirty years advocating for wildness, most recently with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and as the Executive Director of the Murie Center in Moose, Wyoming. He holds an MBA in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and a Biology degree from the University of Utah. He’s written four books including Halflives: Reconciling Work and Wildness, and dozens of articles. He is involved in The Great West Institute, a think tank exploring expansion and innovation in the conservation movement and is currently working on a book about ground-truthing. Read Brooke’s post, Richard Jefferies and the Role of the Dead, on the Huffington Post Books blog.
John Richard Jefferies (6 November 1848 – 14 August 1887) was a British novelist and essayist who helped pioneer the field of modern nature writing. Jefferies described the English countryside with an intimate vividness and expansive passion that inspired both his contemporaries and later writers.
Praise for The Story of My Heart
“[Terry and Brooke]’s quest to understand Jefferies’ ideas of a ‘soul-life’ has brought the British writer’s ideas alive…”
—THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
“…an oustanding new book…a first-rate tribute to an author who now has been rescued from obscurity.”
—THE UTAH REVIEW
“…a small volume that packs a punch.”
—THE DURANGO HERALD
“The couple converses with Jefferies in the book as if with a new friend…Jefferies’ prescient call for solitude in nature has proven itself worth fresh consideration.”
—ALBUQUERQUE WEEKLY ALIBI
“What makes The Story of My Heart such an enjoyable find is the context that Terry and Brooke provide with their own commentary.”
—JACKSON HOLE NEWS & GUIDE
“Brooke and Terry give a sense of cohesion to Jefferies’s writing, and leave readers with much to ponder about our own chaotic, fast–paced, work–obsessed world.”
“This perfect little package of a book reads like a hymnal, a philosophical treatise, a love story and a meandering walk up a grassy knoll. When Terry and Brooke happened upon a rare copy of Jefferies’ memoir, it sparked in them an obsession with the little known 19th century British nature writer. What resulted is his original text set alongside their own musings and journeys, a balanced meditation on how one is to find a ‘soul–life’ in the natural world, as it ever changes and disappears.”
—Melinda Powers, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Praise for When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
“A lyrical, timeless book that rewards quiet, attentive reading—a rare thing.”
—THE HUFFINGTON POST
“Williams displays a Whitmanesque embrace of the world and its contradictions…”
—SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
“A lyrical and elliptical meditation on women, nature, family, and history.”
—THE BOSTON GLOBE
“…An extraordinary echo chamber in which lessons about voice—passed along from mother, to daughter, and now to us—will reverberate differently in each inner ear.”
—THE SEATTLE TIMES
Praise for Halflives: Reconciling Work and Wildness by Brooke Williams
“…a compact yet breathtaking treatise.”
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