Summarized by Kent Larsen
Mormon Writer Terry Tempest Williams Explores Religion In Life
Publishers Weekly pg69 3Apr00
By Charlotte Abbott; Sarah F Gold and Mark Rotella;
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Mormon naturalist writer Terry Tempest
Williams' new book "Leap" will be released next month, giving readers
an insight into her explorations on religion in life. Williams, who's
previous books looked at environmental issues, this time explores her
own childhood and the place of religion in life.
"Leap" recounts Williams' encounter as a child with the15-th century
work of Hieronymus Bosch, who's paintings "Paradise" and "Hell" were
thumbtacked above her bed as a child. Only as an adult did she
discover that Bosch meant for the two works to hang with a third,
more erotic painting which had been hiddend from her as a child.
Using this experience as a starting point, Williams "builds a
monument to the richness of Mormon culture in the life of a woman who
is fiercely environmentalist, feminist, aware," says Publishers
Weekly. She mixes her philosophical musings with everyday events of a
trip to Spain and with writings of a diverse group of writers
including Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin, sometimes burdening the
work with excessive detail, but producing a full work exploring
religion in life.
As a child, her great-uncle once asked her and a cousin, "What
principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ means the most to you?"
"Obedience," the cousin replied. "Free agency,"answered Williams. Her
memoir searchingly explores the distance and tension between these