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Review: Recollections of My Non-Existence by Rebecca Solnit

I cherish the day I discovered Rebecca Solnit’s voice. And so, as a woman and a writer, it was chilling for me to read the words that present her latest book, Recollections of My Non-Existence, to the reader as follows: “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.”

Solnit’s voice is a voice of reason, compassion and celebration. She could not be silenced. She is the author of over twenty titles, ranging from books about hope and walking to women’s rights and storytelling. Her oeuvre is a torch that lights the way through the darkness of this world.

Recollections of My Non-Existence tells Solnit’s personal story and weaves the history of feminism into it, empowering readers to follow in her extraordinary footsteps and yet find their own path. With every page you turn, you feel more inspired, and if you are a woman, you feel seen and recognised. The connection allows you to comprehend the ultimate need for “freedom, equality, confidence” that reality all too often denies us, but we must never abandon the desire to seek them out and make them our own.

Recollections of My Non-Existence

Rebecca Solnit

Granta, 2020

Review first published in the Cape Times on 24 December 2020.