Brooke and Terry Tempest Williams came across a copy of British nature writer Richard Jefferies’ autobiography “The Story of My Heart” in a small Maine bookstore. The beautiful volume intrigued them and inspired a journey: they traveled to England in order to learn more about the 19th-century nature essayist, to wander the countryside which so inspired and captivated him.
Delving into this love letter to nature strengthened and refreshed Terry and Brooke’s relationship with each other and with the natural world. Originally published in 1883, “The Story of My Heart” explores Jeffries’ idea a “soul-life” which he experienced while wandering in England. In essays alongside Jefferies’ original work, Brooke and Terry Tempest Williams contemplate dilemmas of modernity, the intrinsic need for wildness, and what it means to be human in the 21st century. (Torrey House Press.)
Brooke and Terry Tempest Williams will headline two upcoming events in Utah: Thursday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Rowland Hall, Lincoln Street campus in Salt Lake City for The King’s English Bookshop; and Monday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Back of Beyond Books in Moab.
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.
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.
Terry and Brooke have been married since 1975. They live with their dogs in Jackson, Wyoming, and Castle Valley, Utah.
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.