Talks, readings and conversations
Rebecca Solnit: The Faraway Nearby – a complete reading

2016

The wondrous book by one of contemporary non-fiction’s finest exponents takes its title from the correspondence sign-off by artist Georgia O’Keefe. Both now give us our festival theme. Join us daily for an hour as we read the whole volume out loud in a spirit of sharing and community.

Visitors are invited to sign-up to read fifteen-minute segments via this page. 

‘Gifts come in many guises. One summer, Rebecca Solnit was bequeathed three boxes of ripening apricots, which lay, mountainous, on her bedroom floor – a windfall, a riddle, an emergency to be dealt with a neglected tree that her mother, gradually succumbing to memory loss, could no longer tend to. From this unexpected inheritance came stories spun like those of Scheherazade, who used her gifts as a storyteller to change her fate and her listener’s heart. As she looks back on the year of apricots and emergencies, Solnit weaves her own story into fairytales and the lives of others – the Marquis de Sade, Mary Shelley and Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. She tells of unexpected invitations and adventures, from a library of water in Iceland to the depths of the Grand Canyon. She tells of doctors and explorers, monsters and moths. She tells of warmth and coldness, of making art and re-making the self.’
(From Granta Books)

Rebecca Solnit is author of, among many other books, Wanderlust, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, the award-winning River of Shadows and A Paradise Built In Hell. A contributing editor to Harper’s, she writes regularly for the London Review of Books and the Los Angeles Times. She lives in San Francisco.

Talks, readings and conversations