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The Faraway Nearby Paperback – April 29, 2014
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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"In her famously lyrical prose, Solnit writes about her own life, her family, and her reading, and she revisits the myths and ideas from art and history that have shaped her world."
--The New Yorker
"What Solnit offers us, I think, is the future of memoir. Not the story of the self . . . but the ways in which one's story opens into other stories . . . literary nonfiction doesn't get more beautiful and compelling."
--The American Scholar
"A beautiful and profound book of essayistic reflection on memory, family, grief, travel, and storytelling."
"The product of a remarkable mind at work, one able to weave a magnificent number of threads into a single story, demonstrating how all our stroies are interconnected."
"[A] brilliant, genre-refuting book. The power of The Faraway Nearby, as in Solnit's previous writing, lies in its juxtaposition, its clusters of narrative nerves. . . . Solnit is a wanderer who collapses distance."
--San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of seventeen books about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, hope, and feminism, including three atlases, of San Francisco in 2010, New Orleans in 2013, and New York in 2016; Men Explain Things to Me; The Faraway Nearby; 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). She is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to The Guardian. She lives in San Francisco.
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With a deft hand, Solnit weaves the doors and windows through which she travels into a mesmerizing story. As a child, she was a solitary person, but found that " books are solitudes in which we meet." ( possibly my favorite sentence in the book.). She shares the stories that have helped her to shape her own life and have in turn inspired her own writings. She had decided early on to never refuse an adventure, and she shares a few she had taken as relief and growth as the burden of her mother grew.
Solnit also speaks of the ways in which our interior dialogues can trap us. They can tell us who to love or hate. "Not a few stories are sinking ships." She believes among these tales are the ones that stiffened and distanced her mother into jealousy and aloofness. Somehow, the author successfully weaves the story of Frankenstein and the history of his creator into a meaningful, and even necessary, part of her own discourse. Along the way, Solnit goes to the "country where many go much further and some don't return." She has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
This is a literate book for the reader who loves a well crafted work. It is thoughtful, insightful, and even funny. It challenges the reader to evaluate one's own internal script and to open for the constant change of every context. This is a book that fills the promise of solitudes meeting.