Books: Leap

By Terry Tempest Williams

Hieronymus Bosch's 15th century painting The Garden of Delights is one of the wildest pictures in Western art, but it may have met its match for feverish description in this book's hallucinogenic meditation on it. With cinematic fluency, Williams slips in and out of the painting, riffing on everything from her Mormon upbringing to the survival of the monarch butterfly. Strange and endlessly fascinating, her reflections on Bosch's images of Heaven, Hell and Earth take on the burning urgency of a dream. "Can a painting be a prayer?" she asks. Her answer is yes, prayer. Incantation and benediction too.

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