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About Rebecca Solnit
Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of seventeen books about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, hope, and memory, including the updated and reissued Hope in the Dark, three atlases, of San Francisco in 2010, New Orleans in 2013, and New York forthcoming in October; 2014's Men Explain Things to Me; 2013's The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Wanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and frequent contributor to the Guardian newspaper.
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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Books By Rebecca Solnit
Roses, pleasure and politics: a fresh take on Orwell as an avid gardener, whose political writing was grounded in his passion for the natural world.
'I loved this book... An exhilarating romp through Orwell's life and times' Margaret Atwood
'Expansive and thought-provoking' Independent
Outside my work the thing I care most about is gardening - George Orwell
Inspired by her encounter with the surviving roses that Orwell is said to have planted in his cottage in Hertfordshire, Rebecca Solnit explores how his involvement with plants, particularly flowers, illuminates his other commitments as a writer and antifascist, and the intertwined politics of nature and power.
Following his journey from the coal mines of England to taking up arms in the Spanish Civil War; from his prescient critique of Stalin to his analysis of the relationship between lies and authoritarianism, Solnit finds a more hopeful Orwell, whose love of nature pulses through his work and actions. And in her dialogue with the author, she makes fascinating forays into colonial legacies in the flower garden, discovers photographer Tina Modotti's roses, reveals Stalin's obsession with growing lemons in impossibly cold conditions, and exposes the brutal rose industry in Colombia.
A fresh reading of a towering figure of the 20th century which finds solace and solutions for the political and environmental challenges we face today, Orwell's Roses is a remarkable reflection on pleasure, beauty, and joy as acts of resistance.
'Luminous...It is efflorescent, a study that seeds and blooms, propagates thoughts, and tends to historical associations' New Statesman
'A genuinely extraordinary mind, whose curiosity, intelligence and willingness to learn seem unbounded' Irish Times
In 1981, Rebecca Solnit rented a studio apartment in San Francisco, her home for the next twenty-five years. There she began the process of forging a voice in a society that preferred women to be silent. Liberated by West Coast activism, growing gay pride and punk rock, she broke through oppression and over time transformed into a writer and activist who speaks for the marginalised - galvanised to use her own voice for change.
Recollections of My Non-Existence is the landmark memoir from a voice of a generation, and a rally cry for generations to come.
Rebecca Solnit's essay 'Men Explain Things to Me' has become a touchstone of the feminist movement, inspired the term 'mansplaining', and established Solnit as one of the leading feminist thinkers of our time - one who has inspired everyone from radical activists to Beyonc� Knowles. Collected here in print for the first time is the essay itself, along with the best of Solnit's feminist writings.
From rape culture to mansplaining, from French sex scandals to marriage and the nuclear family, from Virginia Woolf to colonialism, these essays are a fierce and incisive exploration of the issues that a patriarchal culture will not necessarily acknowledge as 'issues' at all. With grace and energy, and in the most exquisite and inviting of prose, Rebecca Solnit proves herself a vital leading figure of the feminist movement and a radical, humane thinker.
a lucid, affirmative and well-argued case for hope.
Hope in the Dark traces a history of activism and social change over the past five decades – from the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the worldwide marches against the war in Iraq. Following in the footsteps of the last century’s thinkers – including Woolf, Gandhi, Borges, Benjamin and Havel – Solnit conjures a timeless vision of cause and effect that will light our way through the dark, and lead us to profound and effective political engagement.
Gifts come in many guises. One summer, Rebecca Solnit was bequeathed three boxes of ripening apricots, which lay, mountainous, on her bedroom floor - a windfall, a riddle, an emergency to be dealt with. The fruit came from a neglected tree that her mother, gradually succumbing to memory loss, could no longer tend to. From this unexpected inheritance came stories spun like those of Scheherazade, who used her gifts as a storyteller to change her fate and her listener's heart.
As she looks back on the year of apricots and emergencies, Solnit weaves her own story into fairytales and the lives of others - the Marquis de Sade, Mary Shelley and Ernesto 'Che' Guevara. She tells of unexpected invitations and adventures, from a library of water in Iceland to the depths of the Grand Canyon. She tells of doctors and explorers, monsters and moths. She tells of warmth and coldness, of making art and re-making the self.
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.
Who gets to shape the narrative of our times? The current moment is a battle over that foundational power. Women, people of colour and non-straight people are telling other versions, and white men in particular are fighting to preserve their own centrality. In this outstanding collection of essays by one of the most prescient and insightful commentators today, Solnit appraises the voices that are emerging, why they matter and the obstacles they face in making themselves heard.
Pourquoi les hommes se sentent-ils obligés d'expliquer aux femmes ce qu'elles savent déjà ? D'où vient leur certitude de savoir mieux qu'elles ce qu'elles doivent penser, ou faire ?
Peut-être de l'Histoire, qui a constamment relégué les voix des femmes au silence.
Dans ce recueil d'essais où la colère le dispute à l'intelligence et à l'humour, Rebecca Solnit explore une nouvelle façon de penser le féminisme. Et fournit des armes pour les luttes à venir.
Traduit de l'anglais (États-Unis) par Céline Leroy
“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