Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit is a columnist at Harper’s and the author of many books, including Men Explain Things to Me: And Other Essays, and Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, published last year.

From Lying to Leering: Penis Power

Rebecca Solnit, 19 January 2017

Hillary Clinton was all that stood between us and a reckless, unstable, ignorant, inane, infinitely vulgar, climate-change-denying white-nationalist misogynist with authoritarian ambitions and kleptocratic plans. A lot of people, particularly white men, could not bear her, and that is as good a reason as any for Trump’s victory. Over and over again, I heard men declare that she had failed to make them vote for her. They saw the loss as hers rather than ours, and they blamed her for it, as though election was a gift they withheld.

Diary: Get Off the Bus

Rebecca Solnit, 20 February 2014

The young woman at the blockade was worried about the banner the Oaklanders brought, she told me, because she and her co-organisers had tried to be careful about messaging. But the words FUCK OFF GOOGLE in giant letters on a purple sheet held up in front of a blockaded Google bus gladdened the hearts of other San Franciscans. That morning – it was Tuesday, 21 January – about fifty locals were also holding up a Facebook bus: a gleaming luxury coach transporting Facebook employees down the peninsula to Silicon Valley. A tall young black man held one corner of the banner; he was wearing a Ulysses T-shirt.

Diary: In the Day of the Postman

Rebecca Solnit, 29 August 2013

In or around June 1995 human character changed again. Or rather, it began to undergo a metamorphosis that is still not complete, but is profound – and troubling, not least because it is hardly noted. When I think about, say, 1995, or whenever the last moment was before most of us were on the internet and had mobile phones, it seems like a hundred years ago. Letters came once a day, predictably, in the hands of the postal carrier. News came in three flavours – radio, television, print – and at appointed hours. Some of us even had a newspaper delivered every morning.

Diary: Google Invades

Rebecca Solnit, 7 February 2013

The buses roll up to San Francisco’s bus stops in the morning and evening, but they are unmarked, or nearly so, and not for the public. They have no signs or have discreet acronyms on the front windshield, and because they also have no rear doors they ingest and disgorge their passengers slowly, while the brightly lit funky orange public buses wait behind them. The luxury coach passengers ride for free and many take out their laptops and begin their work day on board; there is of course wifi. Most of them are gleaming white, with dark-tinted windows, like limousines, and some days I think of them as the spaceships on which our alien overlords have landed to rule over us.

Diary: In Fukushima

Rebecca Solnit, 10 May 2012

When I met him, Otsuchi city administrator Kozo Hirani, a substantial, balding man in a brown pinstripe suit, was on the upper floor of a warren of small-scale temporary buildings that now house the town’s administration. To reach him I had flown to Tokyo, taken a train more than three hundred miles north to Morioka, the capital of Iwate Prefecture, then got into a van with seven people from Tokyo’s International University who’d decided to see the disaster zone for themselves and help me while they were at it.

The frontispiece to this biographical study is an unknown photographer’s portrait of the bearded Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) taken in about 1872. He sits awkwardly hunched on a crate...

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