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About Rebecca Solnit
She encourages you to shop at Indiebound, your local independent bookstore, Powells.com, Barnes & Noble online and kind of has some large problems with how Amazon operates these days. Though she's grateful if you're buying her books here or anywhere....
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In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.
She ends on a serious note— because the ultimate problem is the silencing of women who have something to say, including those saying things like, “He’s trying to kill me!”
This book features that now-classic essay with six perfect complements, including an examination of the great feminist writer Virginia Woolf’s embrace of mystery, of not knowing, of doubt and ambiguity, a highly original inquiry into marriage equality, and a terrifying survey of the scope of contemporary violence against women.
“In this series of personal but unsentimental essays, Solnit gives succinct shorthand to a familiar female experience that before had gone unarticulated, perhaps even unrecognized.” —The New York Times
“Essential feminist reading.” —The New Republic
“This slim book hums with power and wit.” —Boston Globe
“Solnit tackles big themes of gender and power in these accessible essays. Honest and full of wit, this is an integral read that furthers the conversation on feminism and contemporary society.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Feminist, frequently funny, unflinchingly honest and often scathing in its conclusions.” —Salon
Why is it that in the aftermath of a disaster? whether manmade or natural?people suddenly become altruistic, resourceful, and brave? What makes the newfound communities and purpose many find in the ruins and crises after disaster so joyous? And what does this joy reveal about ordinarily unmet social desires and possibilities?
In A Paradise Built in Hell, award-winning author Rebecca Solnit explores these phenomena, looking at major calamities from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco through the 1917 explosion that tore up Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She examines how disaster throws people into a temporary utopia of changed states of mind and social possibilities, as well as looking at the cost of the widespread myths and rarer real cases of social deterioration during crisis. This is a timely and important book from an acclaimed author whose work consistently locates unseen patterns and meanings in broad cultural histories.
“Essays are restless literature, trying to find out how things fit together, how we can think about two things at once, how the personal and the public can inform each other, how two overtly dissimilar things share a secret kinship,” contends Rebecca Solnit in her introduction. From lost languages and extinct species to life-affirming cosmologies and literary myths that offer cold comfort, the personal and the public collide in The Best American Essays 2019. This searching, necessary collection grapples with what has preoccupied us in the past year—sexual politics, race, violence, invasive technologies—and yet, in reading for the book, Solnit also found “how discovery can be a deep pleasure.”
The Best American Essays 2019 includes Michelle Alexander, Jabari Asim, Alexander Chee, Masha Gessen, Jean Guerrero, Elizabeth Kolbert, Terese Marie Mailhot, Jia Tolentino, and others.
In Recollections of My Nonexistence, Rebecca Solnit describes her formation as a writer and as a feminist in 1980s San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and throughout society and the exclusion of women from cultural arenas. She tells of being poor, hopeful, and adrift in the city that became her great teacher, and of the small apartment that, when she was nineteen, became the home in which she transformed herself. She explores the forces that liberated her as a person and as a writer--books themselves; the gay community that presented a new model of what else gender, family, and joy could mean; and her eventual arrival in the spacious landscapes and overlooked conflicts of the American West.
Beyond being a memoir, Solnit's book is also a passionate argument: that women are not just impacted by personal experience, but by membership in a society where violence against women pervades. Looking back, she describes how she came to recognize that her own experiences of harassment and menace were inseparable from the systemic problem of who has a voice, or rather who is heard and respected and who is silenced--and how she was galvanized to use her own voice for change.
A book as powerful and influential as Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, her Hope in the Dark was written to counter the despair of activists at a moment when they were focused on their losses and had turned their back to the victories behind them—and the unimaginable changes soon to come. In it, she makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable.
Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural, and political history, Solnit argues that radicals have a long, neglected history of transformative victories, that the positive consequences of our acts are not always immediately seen, directly knowable, or even measurable, and that pessimism and despair rest on an unwarranted confidence about what is going to happen next. Now, with a moving new introduction explaining how the book came about and a new afterword that helps teach us how to hope and act in our unnerving world, she brings a new illumination to the darkness of our times in an unforgettable new edition of this classic book.
“One of the best books of the 21st century.” —The Guardian
“No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that’s marked this new millennium.” —Bill McKibben, New York Times–bestselling author of Falter
“An elegant reminder that activist victories are easily forgotten, and that they often come in extremely unexpected, roundabout ways.” —The New Yorker
“What would the world look like if girls grew up reading fairytales made from the magic they carry inside themselves? Breathtakingly beautiful, is what.” —Lidia Yuknavich, national bestselling author
In her debut children’s book, Rebecca Solnit reimagines a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world, featuring gorgeous silhouettes from Arthur Rackham on each page.
In this modern twist on the classic story, Cinderella, who would rather just be Ella, meets her fairy godmother, goes to a ball, and makes friends with a prince. But that is where the familiar story ends. Instead of waiting to be rescued, Cinderella learns that she can save herself and those around her by being true to herself and standing up for what she believes.
“Being a princess is absolutely fine if that’s what you choose. It’s having those choices taken away from you that make for big problems. Cinderella in Solnit’s book is given that choice. She’s allowed to say what her dreams are, and then she goes out and attains them. And they’re not huge ridiculous dreams but small, happy, manageable ones. Ultimately, that’s the gift Ms. Solnit is giving kids with this book.” —School Library Journal
“This is a reminder of hope and possibility, of kindness and compassion, and—perhaps most salient—imagination and liberty. Through the imaginations of our childhoods, can we find our true selves liberated in adulthood?” —Chelsea Handler
“This is, hands down, a wonderful book—one that even the jaded reader will clasp upon completion with a contented sigh.” —The New York Times
Feminist essays for the #MeToo era from “the voice of the resistance,” the international bestselling author of Men Explain Things to Me (The New York Times Magazine).
Who gets to shape the narrative of our times? The current moment is a battle royale over that foundational power, one in which women, people of color, non-straight people are telling other versions, and white people and men and particularly white men are trying to hang onto the old versions and their own centrality. In Whose Story Is This? Rebecca Solnit appraises what’s emerging and why it matters and what the obstacles are.
Praise for Rebecca Solnit and her essays
“Rebecca Solnit is essential feminist reading.” —The New Republic
“In these times of political turbulence and an increasingly rabid and scrofulous commentariat, the sanity, wisdom and clarity of Rebecca Solnit’s writing is a forceful corrective. Whose Story Is This? is a scorchingly intelligent collection about the struggle to control narratives in the internet age.” —The Guardian
“Solnit’s passionate, shrewd, and hopeful critiques are a road map for positive change.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Solnit’s exquisite essays move between the political and the personal, the intellectual and the earthy.” —Elle
“Rebecca Solnit reasserts herself here as one of the most astute cultural critics in progressive discourse.” —Publishers Weekly
“No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that’s marked this new millennium.” —Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org
Written as a series of autobiographical essays, A Field Guide to Getting Lost draws on emblematic moments and relationships in Rebecca Solnit's life to explore issues of uncertainty, trust, loss, memory, desire, and place. Solnit is interested in the stories we use to navigate our way through the world, and the places we traverse, from wilderness to cities, in finding ourselves, or losing ourselves. While deeply personal, her own stories link up to larger stories, from captivity narratives of early Americans to the use of the color blue in Renaissance painting, not to mention encounters with tortoises, monks, punk rockers, mountains, deserts, and the movie Vertigo. The result is a distinctive, stimulating voyage of discovery.
National Book Award Longlist
Winner of the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction
Winner of the Foreword INDIE Editor’s Choice Prize for Nonfiction
Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books, including the international bestseller Men Explain Things to Me. Called “the voice of the resistance” by the New York Times, she has emerged as an essential guide to our times, through incisive commentary on feminism, violence, ecology, hope, and everything in between.
In this powerful and wide-ranging collection of essays, Solnit turns her attention to the war at home. This is a war, she says, “with so many casualties that we should call it by its true name, this war with so many dead by police, by violent ex-husbands and partners and lovers, by people pursuing power and profit at the point of a gun or just shooting first and figuring out who they hit later.” To get to the root of these American crises, she contends that “to acknowledge this state of war is to admit the need for peace,” countering the despair of our age with a dose of solidarity, creativity, and hope.
“Solnit’s exquisite essays move between the political and the personal, the intellectual and the earthy.” —Elle
“Solnit is careful with her words (she always is) but never so much that she mutes the infuriated spirit that drives these essays.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Solnit [is] a powerful cultural critic: as always, she opts for measured assessment and pragmatism over hype and hysteria.” —Publishers Weekly
“Essential reading for anyone living in America today.” —The Brooklyn Rail
Drawing together many histories--of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores--Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction--from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja--finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.
In a timely and incisive follow-up to her national bestseller Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit offers sharp commentary on women who refuse to be silenced, misogynistic violence, the fragile masculinity of the literary canon, the gender binary, the recent history of rape jokes, and much more.
In characteristic style, “Solnit draw[s] anecdotes of female indignity or male aggression from history, social media, literature, popular culture, and the news . . . The main essay in the book is about the various ways that women are silenced, and Solnit focuses upon the power of storytelling—the way that who gets to speak, and about what, shapes how a society understands itself and what it expects from its members. The Mother of All Questions poses the thesis that telling women’s stories to the world will change the way that the world treats women, and it sets out to tell as many of those stories as possible” (The New Yorker).
“There’s a new feminist revolution—open to people of all genders—brewing right now and Rebecca Solnit is one of its most powerful, not to mention beguiling, voices.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times–bestselling author of Natural Causes
“Short, incisive essays that pack a powerful punch.” —Publishers Weekly
“A keen and timely commentary on gender and feminism. Solnit’s voice is calm, clear, and unapologetic; each essay balances a warm wit with confident, thoughtful analysis, resulting in a collection that is as enjoyable and accessible as it is incisive.” —Booklist
A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
In this exquisitely written book by the author of A Paradise Built in Hell, Rebecca Solnit explores the ways we make our lives out of stories, and how we are connected by empathy, by narrative, by imagination. In the course of unpacking some of her own stories—of her mother and her decline from memory loss, of a trip to Iceland, of an illness—Solnit revisits fairytales and entertains other stories: about arctic explorers, Che Guevara among the leper colonies, and Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, about warmth and coldness, pain and kindness, decay and transformation, making art and making self. Woven together, these stories create a map which charts the boundaries and territories of storytelling, reframing who each of us is and how we might tell our story.