PERSONAL: Married Angus Wurtele; children: Phil (deceased). Education: Graduated from Smith College, Northampton, MA.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—Terra Valentine, 3787 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94574.
Taking Root: A Spiritual Memoir, Saint Mary's Press (Winona, MN), 1998.
Touching the Edge: A Mother's Spiritual Path fromLoss to Life, John Wiley & Sons (Hoboken, NJ), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Margaret Wurtele has led a very active life, including a stint in the Peace Corps, cofounding Hungry Mind Press, fundraising for arts organizations in Minneapolis, and co-ownership, with her husband Angus Wurtele, of Terra Valentine winery in California's Napa Valley. At the same time, her writings have given voice to a deep inner life. In Taking Root: A Spiritual Memoir, organized around twelve spiritual mentors, such as Augustine and St. Catherine of Siena, Wurtele describes her own spiritual journey from secular childhood, raised by two "lively agnostics," to Christian adulthood. "There are no exhortations in this book. The text is personal and anecdotal. Through concrete examples, Wurtele leads us to push back the boundaries to find the hidden significance, to make practical scriptural connections, to address the exciting and demanding issues of daily life," wrote reviewer J. Sheila Galligan in Catholic Library World.
In 1995, Wurtele learned that her twenty-two-year-old son Phil had been killed in a mountain rescue operation. Touching the Edge: A Mother's Spiritual Path from Loss to Life describes her agonizing ordeal, and how "yoga, meditation, and heightened spirituality helped Wurtele see a bigger picture, survive the worst thing a parent can imagine, and grow stronger after it," in the words of Booklist reviewer Donna Chavez. "Wurtele shares the dreams and visions of Phil that came to her during this period as well as the deepening faith that gave her the courage to accept her adventurous son's death," wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 15, 2003, Donna Chavez, review of Touching the Edge: A Mother's Spiritual Path from Loss to Life, p. 1020.
Catholic Library World, December, 1998, J. Sheila Galligan, review of Taking Root: A Spiritual Memoir, p. 35.
Christian Century, October 18, 2003, Trudy Bush, review of Touching the Edge, p. 30.
Publishers Weekly, December 2, 2002, review of Touching the Edge, p. 44.*