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Books Nonfiction Finding Beauty in a Broken World

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Finding Beauty in a Broken World

Book Listing

ISBN 0375420789
Author Terry Tempest Williams

In her most original, provocative, and eloquently moving book since Refuge, Terry Tempest Williams gives us a luminous chronicle of finding beauty in a broken world. Always an impassioned and far-sighted advocate for a just relationship between the natural world and humankind, Williams has broadened her concerns over the past several years to include a reconfiguration of family and community in her search for a deeper understanding of what it means to be human in an era of physical and spiritual fragmentation.

Williams begins in Ravenna, Italy, where “jeweled ceilings became lavish tales” through the art of mosaic. She discovers that mosaic is not just an art form but a form of integration, and when she returns to the American Southwest, her physical and spiritual home, and observes a clan of prairie dogs on the brink of extinction, she apprehends an ecological mosaic created by a remarkable species in the sagebrush steppes of the Colorado Plateau. And, finally, Williams travels to a small village in Rwanda, where, along with fellow artists, she joins survivors of the 1994 genocide and builds a memorial literally from the rubble of war, an act that becomes a spark for social change and healing.

A singular meditation on how the natural and human worlds both collide and connect in violence and beauty, this is a work of uncommon perceptions that dares to find intersections between arrogance and empathy, tumult and peace, constructing a narrative of hopeful acts by taking that which is broken and creating something whole.

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Finding Beauty in a Broken World

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Ms. Williams deep writings always wind there way into my heart and mind, insisting upon being pondered. This latest of her works is no exception. The reader is slowly pulled into her experiences in Italy learning the ancient art of mosaic, as well as the hot dry discomfort of being installed in a wood tower helping to research prairie dogs in Utah. There is sadness in reading of the brutal and callous behavior of many of the individuals she comes into contact with. But, there are also those she encounters that are enlightened teachers or fellow travelers that shine a light on the future, not just of nature but of mankind. Highly recommended read to any who does not choose to be ignorant, but wishes to know the world in all its varied facets.