Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
AnimalitiesLiterary and Cultural Studies Beyond the Human$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Lundblad

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474400022

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474400022.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 09 April 2020

The Nature of Birds, Women, and Cancer: Terry Tempest Williams’s Refuge and When Women Were Birds

The Nature of Birds, Women, and Cancer: Terry Tempest Williams’s Refuge and When Women Were Birds

Chapter:
(p.127) Chapter 6 The Nature of Birds, Women, and Cancer: Terry Tempest Williams’s Refuge and When Women Were Birds
Source:
Animalities
Author(s):

Michael Lundblad

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474400022.003.0007

Lundblad focuses on two memoirs by Terry Tempest Williams for the ways they represent an attempt in contemporary nature writing and illness memoirs to come to terms with terminal illness and the end of life. Animality is invoked in the texts as a model for constructing supposedly the right way to approach a diagnosis of cancer, suggesting what kind of death could be seen as a good one, if that might ever be possible. Williams’s two memoirs are linked by the ways they use birds and the discourse of what should be considered “natural” to explain when or how to resist not only death, but also patriarchal gender norms, imperialist U.S. aggression in the “War on Terror”, atomic testing at the Nevada Test Site, and the destruction of environments from Utah to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Lundblad’s emphasis is on how constructions of birds can naturalize problematic human discourses, but the chapter also points toward the ways that these essentialized constructions are limiting for nonhuman animals as well.​

Keywords:   nature writing, Terry Tempest Williams, cancer, terminal illness, “a good death”, illness memoirs, patriarchy, environmentalism, “War on Terror”, animalities, animality studies

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.