Environews, Environews

Environews: Terry Tempest Williams chronicles Utah environmental history in Erosion: Essays of Undoing

By Amy Brunvand

Acclaimed Utah author Terry Tempest Williams has previously written eloquently about The Open Space of Democracy (2010), but her new book, Erosion, is a tour-de-force. Williams is a witness to civic erosion and a fierce advocate for citizen engagement. Tied together by themes of political decay, her collection of essays offers an insider’s view of events in Utah’s environmental movement. Williams sits by a de-watered Great Salt Lake watching starving pelicans search for food; she engages activist Tim DeChristopher in deep conversation; she describes her own purchase of a fossil fuel lease to protest irresponsible fossil fuel development, and the fallout from that action; she analyzes President Trump’s attacks on Bears Ears, and recounts efforts by white residents of San Juan County to keep Navajo candidates out of elected office. This may be her best work yet.

Terry Tempest Williams. Erosion: Essays of Undoing, Sarah Crichton Books, 2019.

This is an excerpt from our July Environews column. View the full article here.   

This article was originally published on July 3, 2020.