The Open Space of Democracy ) travels to Ravenna, Italy, a town famous for its ancient mosaics, to “learn a new language with my hands.” Bac"/>
 

Finding Beauty in a Broken World

Terry Tempest Williams, Author
Terry Tempest Williams, Author . Pantheon $26 (419p) ISBN 978-0-375-42078-8
Paperback - 420 pages - 978-0-375-72519-7
Open Ebook - 978-0-307-37778-4
Compact Disc - 3 pages - 978-1-59179-742-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-283-99716-4
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Williams (The Open Space of Democracy ) travels to Ravenna, Italy, a town famous for its ancient mosaics, to “learn a new language with my hands.” Back home in Utah, Williams views the lives of a clan of endangered prairie dogs—a species essential to the ecological mosaic of the grasslands and the creators of “the most sophisticated animal language decoded so far”—through the rules of Italian mosaics. After intimate study of a prairie dog town at Bryce Canyon, her visit to 19th-century prairie dog specimens at the American Museum of Natural History segues, dreamlike, to a glass case of bones from the genocide in Rwanda, where Williams, overwhelmed by the death of her brother but knowing that her “own spiritual evolution depended upon it,” travels with artist Lily Yeh, who “understands mosaic as taking that which is broken and creating something whole,” to build a memorial with genocide survivors. The book, itself a skillful, nuanced mosaic (“a conversation between what is broken... a conversation with light, with color, with form”) uses this “way of thinking about the world” to convincingly “make the connection between racism and specism” and sensitively argues for respect for life in all its myriad forms. (Oct.)

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