This personal, lyrical narrative about storytelling and empathy from award winner Rebecca Solnit is a fitting companion to her beloved A Field Guide for Getting Lost
In this exquisitely written new 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.
Solnit is almost magical in her use of colour and connections which draw her stories together and help them flow from the specific to the general; from a bedroom floor full of apricots that in their mountainous quantity lose their delicacy, to her own life and each event building up and culminating in a life lived backwards. She touches individual stories from literature and politics but they all feel personal. Her grace and beautiful make for a lovely reading experience and a touching personal story.
This was one of my favourite books this year.
The Faraway Nearby
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