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Starr, an adjunct professor of philosophy and religious studies at the University of New Mexico, is already known to fans of Saint Teresa of Ávila as the translator of the 16th-century nun's work The Interior Castle. Now Starr tackles Teresa's better-known autobiography, which has not seen a new English translation in four decades. Starr is the first woman, and one of the only non-Catholics, to translate the memoir. These vantage points give her a fresh perspective on the mystic, whose writings can be verbose and shrouded in overspiritualized language. (Thankfully, Starr has also cut almost all of the saint's self-annihilating statements about being a "wretched worm.") Crisp, contemporary language puts Teresa's famous passion for God in stark relief. Carmelite hermit and author Tessa Bielecki provides a brief but engaging foreword, while Starr pens a helpful introduction, highlighting Teresa's life and placing her work in historical context. (Feb.)
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“A cause for celebration. Captures Teresa’s conversational enthusiasm most effectively.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Crisp, contemporary language puts Teresa's famous passion for God in stark relief.”—Publishers Weekly
“Mirabai Starr’s translation is a work for our time. She has given Teresa a presence and a voice in a modern era. Saint Teresa no doubt chose Mirabai, for her talent with language and Spanish translation is pure genius."—Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle and Anatomy of the Spirit
“Mirabai Starr’s translation makes totally accessible this most famous (and attractive) saint. The writing has such a delightful sparkle you can't help falling in love with Teresa.”—John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War
“Saint Teresa of Ávila has long deserved a far wider readership than existing translations have secured for her. She wrote, as she undoubtedly spoke, in an unapologetically vernacular Spanish—idiomatic, vivid, and informal—and Mirabai Starr’s rendering is all of that. The clarity and vitality of this new autobiography will bring a whole new generation of seekers into the blessed presence of ‘La Madre.’”—Carol Lee Flinders, author of Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics and Enduring Lives: Portraits of Women and Faith in Action
“Saints’ lives are not always page-turners. But Mirabai Starr´s wonderfully fresh translation of the Vida of Teresa of Ávila captures the passionate spirituality, the talent for intimacy, the frankly fallible humanity that attracted her contemporaries to the woman Starr describes, in her introduction, as ‘not an obvious saint.’ Tessa Bielecki´s deeply-felt foreword is one inducement among many to take this welcome new translation to heart."—Cathleen Medwick, author of Teresa of Ávila : The Progress of a Soul