How Rebecca Solnit Became the Voice of the Resistance
August 9, 2017 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Nice piece (by Alice Gregory, ahem); I didn't realize she'd been around since the mid-'80s. I like this paragraph:
Paul Yamazaki, the head book buyer at City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, which published Solnit’s first book in 1991, adds the frank, genre-defying works of Kathy Acker and Jane Bowles to the list, but can’t quite conjure a unifying theory of what all of these authors share. ‘‘I wish I had one!’’ he laughed over the phone. ‘‘I’d be a much better bookseller if I did.’’ It’s worth noting, however, that these belatedly embraced writers seem to be mostly female. Perhaps it’s because no one listens to them the first time they speak.
Nice to see Acker and Bowles name-checked; I liked them both before they were cool!
posted by languagehat at 7:59 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]

Some of Solnit's reactions to the piece:
I didn't write/wouldn't write the headline. I did write the books the author talks about, and thank you readers of the work. Or works. And Eileen Myles, Susan Sontag, Paul Yamazaki, nice to be here with you.
p.s. The resistance is strong and beautiful because it has many, many voices. No one of us can describe all the perspectives and complexities feeding this force, see all the paths forward, describe the myriad phenomena that led to this volatile moment. So I'm flattered by the title of this piece, but I don't agree with it. I'm glad to sing a little, slightly off-key, in that chorus and to hear and learn from the brilliance of so many heroines, from Sarah Kendzior to Erica Chenoweth to Alicia Garza, Susan Griffin, Adrienne Maree Brown, Mary Diaz, Summer Brennan, Conchita Lozano-Batista , Ana Teresa Fernandez, Marina Sitrin, Astra Taylor, L.A. Kauffman, Elena Acevedo Dalcourt, May Boeve, Annie Leonard, Anna Goldstein, Joan Halifax, and so many more, including the people protesting the KXL pipeline today (and yeah, also guys, starting with David Solnit there at the Nebraska protests, Cleve Jones, Bob Fulkerson, Gabriel Valdez, David Grinspoon, Mark Rudd, and so many others). When I contemplate all the determination, brilliance, generosity of spirit, I get hopeful, but you already know I do that.
One more thing about this piece. It takes a dig at, where I began publishing very casually via John Freeman in 2015 and stayed, thrilled by the editors and the reach of this literary site. My May 30th piece on Donald Trump got a million clicks in three days at Lithub. That's not chopped liver. It's not even small change. Thank you Lithub. Here's to our continuing work together.
posted by Jpfed at 10:46 AM on August 10 [9 favorites]

I didn't write/wouldn't write the headline

Heh. That's kind of what I was thinking when I saw that. I've read enough of Solnit to know she would never have claimed it.

Which reminds me, I downloaded that hope book last spring and then never read it...
posted by suelac at 4:27 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]

I need to read more writers like her, when I take breaks from my fever of activity and thoughts of doom.
posted by emjaybee at 7:53 PM on August 10

On the general topic of women in leadership in politics and activism: “Women and Power – Germany's female politicians”, an English-language ~40min documentary that Deutsche Welle released earlier this week.
posted by XMLicious at 8:41 PM on August 10

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