cover image Teresa of vila: The Book of My Life

Teresa of vila: The Book of My Life

, Teresa of Ávila: The Book of My LifeTr. Shambhala/New Seeds, $24.95 (346pp) ISBN 978-1-59030-365-8

Starr, an adjunct professor of philosophy and religious studies at the University of New Mexico, is already known to fans of Saint Teresa of Ávila as the translator of the 16th-century nun's work The Interior Castle . Now Starr tackles Teresa's better-known autobiography, which has not seen a new English translation in four decades. Starr is the first woman, and one of the only non-Catholics, to translate the memoir. These vantage points give her a fresh perspective on the mystic, whose writings can be verbose and shrouded in overspiritualized language. (Thankfully, Starr has also cut almost all of the saint's self-annihilating statements about being a "wretched worm.") Crisp, contemporary language puts Teresa's famous passion for God in stark relief. Carmelite hermit and author Tessa Bielecki provides a brief but engaging foreword, while Starr pens a helpful introduction, highlighting Teresa's life and placing her work in historical context. (Feb.)