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The incomparable Rebecca Solnit, author of more than a dozen acclaimed books of nonfiction, brings the same dazzling writing to the twenty-nine essays in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness. As the title suggests, the territory of Solnit’s concerns is vast, and in her signature alchemical style she combines commentary on history, justice, war and peace, and explorations of place, art, and community, all while writing with the lyricism of a poet to achieve incandescence and wisdom. Gathered here are celebrated iconic essays along with little-known pieces that create a powerful survey of the world we live in. In its encyclopedic reach and its generous compassion, Solnit’s collection charts a way through the thickets of our complex social and political worlds. Like the women who've pioneered before herSontag, Didion, and Dillardher essays are a beacon.
San Francisco writer Rebecca Solnit is the author of 15 books about art, landscape, public and collective life, ecology, politics, hope, meandering, reverie, and memory. They include the critically acclaimed memoir The Faraway Nearby and the National Book Critics Circle Award-winner River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West. She is a contributing editor to Harper’s and a frequent contributor to TomDispatch.com.
Table of Contents
Introduction Cyclopedia of an Arctic Expedition The Butterfly and the Boiling Point: Reflections on the Arab Spring and After Rattlesnake in Mailbox: Cults, Creeps, California in the 1970s Concrete in Paradise: Some Pictures of Coastal California Detroit Arcadia: Exploring the Post-American Landscape Dry Lands: The Colorado River and Hydrological Madness of the West One Nation under Elvis: Environmentalism for Everyone Winged Mercury and the Golden Calf: Heavy Metal Histories Oil and Water: The BP Spill in the Gulf In Haiti, Words Can Kill Icebergs and Shadows: Further Adventures in the Landscape of Hope Inside Out, or Interior Space (and Interior Decoration) Notes from Nowhere: Iceland’s Polite Dystopia The Volcano Erupts: Iceland in Upheaval The Great Tohuko Earthquake and Tsunami: Aftermaths in Japan Arrival Gates: The Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan Journey to the Center (on Elin Hansdottir’s Labyrinth Path) Letter to a Dead Man on the Occupation of Hope Apologies to Mexico: The Drug Trade and GNP (Gross National Pain) Reconstructing the Story of the Storm: New Orleans Five Years After We Won’t Bow Down: Carnival and Resistance in New Orleans The Google Bus: Silicon Valley Invades We’re Breaking Up: Noncommunications in the Silicon Age Pale Bus, Pale Rider: Silicon Valley Invades, Cont’d On the Dirtiness of Laundry and the Strength of Sister: Or, Mysteries of Henry David Thoreau, Unsolved Revolutionary Plots: On Urban Gardening The Visibility Wars Welcome to the Impossible World: For the Children of Orwell Revolution of the Snails: Encounters with the Zapatistas Credits and Acknowledgments Index