For more than 100 years now, we’ve been blessed with National Parks, beginning with Yellowstone in 1872; Pinnacles, created in 2013, is the 59th and most recent National Park to join the list. Other kinds of natural national treasures exist, though—protected monuments and seashores and recreation areas, plus an abundance of state parks and lands. This week, we’re revisiting our interview with Terry Tempest Williams, who marked the centennial of the National Park Service with The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks. From the Grand Tetons to the Gulf Islands, Alcatraz to the Arctic, each place is imbued, in Williams’s telling, with the depth of history, a sense of longing, and her indelible, close observation of the peaks and twigs around her.
Go beyond the episode:
- Terry Tempest Williams’s The Hour of Land
- Go find a park at the National Park Service website’s interactive map.
- Check out Ansel Adams’s historic black and white portraits of our National Parks
- Read “How an Obscure Photographer Saved Yosemite,” a profile of Carleton Watkins (whose photograph of El Capitan adorns Williams’s book) in Smithsonian magazine
- Read our Summer 2016 cover story by David Gessner about learning to love the crowds at America’s National Parks, “The Taming of the Wild”
Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.
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Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman.