Magazine article National Parks

Breathing Spaces

Magazine article National Parks

Breathing Spaces

Article excerpt

Even among the many fascinating books that have streamed into our office during the Park Service's centennial year, Terry Tempest Williams' latest work, "The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks," immediately stood out.

Many of you already know of Williams: A passionate conservationist and graceful writer, she often appears on "most influential" lists next to the likes of Henry David Thoreau, Peter Matthiessen and Edward Abbey. Her new book, a collection of essays about 12 parks, takes readers on a cross-country journey from the battlefields of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska. She has said that she set out to write a joyful book, but it didn't quite work out that way. "I wanted it to be a lyrical, beautiful portrait of our national parks," she told one interviewer, but she quickly realized that "lyricism wasn't enough. …

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