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Recollections of My Nonexistence

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  12 reviews
An electric portrait of the artist as a young woman that asks how a writer finds her voice in a society that prefers women to be silent

In Recollections of My Nonexistence, Rebecca Solnit describes her formation as a writer and as a feminist in 1980s San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and throughout society and the exclusion of women from
Hardcover, 256 pages
Expected publication: March 10th 2020 by Viking
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  • Recollections of My Nonexistence by Rebecca Solnit
    Recollections of My Nonexistence
    Release date: Mar 10, 2020
    "A marvel: a memoir that details her awakening as a feminist, an environmentalist, and a citizen of the world. Every single sentence is exquisite." ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 1034 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 27 - Feb 17, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Megan Bell
    Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2019
    Readers like me who, over Rebecca Solnit’s thirty years of writing, have fallen in love with her seismic, world-shifting essays will not be disappointed in this memoir, her first longform writing in seven years. True to her form, this is a memoir not necessarily of the events of Solnit’s coming of age, but rather the greater influences in her development as a feminist, an activist, and a writer in 1980s San Francisco. In these pages, Solnit describes the formation of her own powerful voice while ...more
    Chantale Onesi-Gonzalez
    Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
    The focus that it takes to write a compelling memoir is fascinating and Rebecca Solnit has not disappointed with her, "Recollections of My Nonexistence". Beginning with snippets from her childhood in the Bay Area and returning to that time throughout the work, Solnit paints a picture of San Francisco through the eyes of a female author, struggling for recognition during the slow gentrification of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

    A large part of the work deals with the fear that women face simply walking
    Dec 11, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
    I was kindly granted access to an ARC of this book. I will update my review once I've read it.


    All my book reviews can be found here
    Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: netgalley
    This book was...fine. I enjoy reading Solnit's essays, so I was looking forward to reading her memoir, thinking that I would actually learn a bit more about her. This was very much focused on Solnit finding her voice and learning how to use it through her writing. The problem is that she neglects to tell the reader anything personal about herself. I felt so disconnected from the author. She almost completely skips over her childhood and starts the memoir with her as a young adult living on her ...more
    Equal parts memoir, homage to San Francisco, and essays on our country’s emotional intelligence quotient, Stolnit’s lyrical writing is so musical, you can almost hear Tony Bennett singing I Lost My Heart is San Francisco in the background. Solnit is uncompromisingly objective and sees the gentrification she unwittingly partook in (recently tackled in this past year’s beautiful film The Last Black Man in San Francisco). Her recapturing of simpler times and settings of telephone booths and Mom ...more
    Emily Tanner
    Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Got my hands on an ARC and ya'll will not be disappointed when this one comes out. I love a memoir and, true to her soul, Rebecca Solnit's is tender, poignantly rendered, and fascinating. More than being solely about herself, this memoir is about all manner of people and experiences that helped shaped her journey to existing and to honing her now critically-acclaimed and uniquely beloved voice. I read it all in one big chunk because I just wanted to keep feeding her words to my brain!! Her ...more
    Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: memoirs
    Recollections of My Nonexistence is very much what it sounds like. An intimate look at Solnit’s role in the world as a woman, it is largely a story of the oppression—the invisibility—of women, and it is told with such grace and delicacy, but also with great dignity and strength. Including her development as a feminist writer in 1980’s San Francisco, the cultures that impacted her there, the origins of a handful of the books she’s authored, and the origin of the desk at which she wrote many of ...more
    Kerry Pickens
    Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: read-2020
    Very inspiring story of the author's time spent in San Francisco when she was just beginning her career. This was during the early gentrification of Black neighborhoods, and reminds me of the years I spent in Austin TX watching it grow from a liberal college town into a high-tech center. I enjoy reading all of Rebecca Solnit's works because of her intelligent and feminist mentality.
    Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This is my first Rebecca Solnit, but definitely there will be more!
    Alexandra Pearson
    Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I'm almost ashamed to admit that this is the first Rebecca Solnit book that I have read. I'll definitely be rectifying that. It's beautifully written, relatable and inclusive. An inspirational read.
    Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: ng, amazingwomen, essay
    Rebecca Solnit is a light in the darkness. This is a moving look back at formative experiences from her past which set her on course for the writer and activist she has become. In another author's hands, this kind of work might be egocentric or preachy, but Solnit focuses on the other people, places, and circumstances that inspired her and informed her path.

    Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for a digital ARC.
    Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: 2019, arc
    I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley. I wanted to love this book - I love memoirs in general. But I just couldn't get in to this one. It was more a memoir of a time and a place than a person, and I struggled with it. It seems that Solnit's fans are avid, but maybe because I haven't read her previous works, I didn't know what I was getting into.
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    Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including Call Them By Their True Names(Winner of the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction), Cinderella Liberator, Men Explain Things to Me, The Mother of All Questions, and Hope in ...more