The most rewarding non-fiction reads of the last few years have all arguably been those which defy easy categorisation, and Kate Briggs' genre-bending ode to literary translation comfortably resides amongst the best of them (perhaps most notably alongside Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts, with which it shares a direct dialogue). Pushing off from Briggs' work translating the late lectures of Roland Barthes, This Little Art luminously reveals the experience and history of the translator in literature via Helen Lowe-Porter’s translations of Thomas Mann, and André Gide's decades-long correspondence with his translator Dorothy Bussy. An essay, a monograph, a memoir, and yet also something greater than any one of these candidates, This Little Art vibrantly illuminates what it means to translate, to write, and to read.
Being a Writer: Advice, Musings, Essays and Experiences From the World's Greatest Authors is an inspiring anthology of hard-won practical advice from some of the world's greatest authors musing on the art of writing and how they came to define themselves as writers. Join its editors, the authors Helen Gordon and Travis Elborough, as they discuss the particular highs and lows of the writing life from the time of Samuel Johnson and Grub Street to the age of silicon roundabout and Lorrie Moore in twenty-first-century Wisconsin, the contributors range from the canon to contemporary, covering more than 250 years, and come from all over the world. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this stunning anthology explores the compulsion to write, with advice about the whole messy business of writing literature and what it takes to be a writer.
When I started, the essay was belles-lettres, decorative. Essays by women, particularly, tended to be treated as memoir even when they were not. Now they’re seen as powerful and compelling again. We’re in a golden age.
To celebrate the arrival of her latest essay collection, The Mother of All Questions, we've made Rebecca Solnit our Author of the Month for September! Check out a few highlights below, and swing by soon for more of her titles (plus a chance to browse our newly curated Essays section.)
The Mother of All Questions: Further Feminisms
Following on from the success of Men Explain Things to Me comes a new collection of essays in which Rebecca Solnit opens up a feminism for all of us: one that doesn't stigmatize women's lives, whether they include spouses and children or not; that brings empathy to the silences in men's lives as well as the silencing of women's lives; celebrates the ways feminism has shifted in recent years to reclaim rape jokes, revise canons, and rethink our everyday lives.
A Field Guide to Getting Lost
In this investigation into loss, losing and being lost, Rebecca Solnit explores the challenges of living with uncertainty. A Field Guide to Getting Lost takes in subjects as eclectic as memory and mapmaking, Hitchcock movies and Renaissance painting,
Beautifully written, this book combines memoir, history and philosophy, shedding glittering new light on the way we live now.
Men Explain Things to Me
Rebecca Solnit's essay Men Explain Things to Me has become a touchstone of the feminist movement, inspired the term 'mansplaining', and established Solnit as one of the leading feminist thinkers of our time - one who has inspired everyone from radical activists to Beyoncé Knowles. Collected here in print for the first time is the essay itself, along with the best of Solnit's feminist writings.
From rape culture to mansplaining, from French sex scandals to marriage and the nuclear family, from Virginia Woolf to colonialism, these essays are a fierce and incisive exploration of the issues that a patriarchal culture will not necessarily acknowledge as 'issues' at all. With grace and energy, and in the most exquisite and inviting of prose, Rebecca Solnit proves herself a vital leading figure of the feminist movement and a radical, humane thinker.