Upcoming Event

Rebecca Solnit

presents

Recollections of My Nonexistence:
A Memoir

in conversation with CARMEN MARIA MACHADO

Tickets on sale now

This event includes a book signing

Date

Mar
11
Wednesday
March 11, 2020
7:00 PM
(Doors at 6:30)

Location

First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

$27.75 (book included) - On Sale Now $8.00 (general entrance) - On Sale Now

Harvard Book Store is thrilled to welcome REBECCA SOLNIT—celebrated author of Men Explain Things to MeA Field Guide to Getting Lost, The Faraway Nearby, and others—for a discussion of her new memoir, Recollections of My Nonexistence. She will be joined in conversation by CARMEN MARIA MACHADO, author of the widely acclaimed Her Body and Other Parties and In the Dream House: A Memoir.

About Recollections of My Nonexistence

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 cultural arenas. She tells of being poor, hopeful, and adrift in the city that became her great teacher; of the small apartment that, when she was nineteen, became the home in which she transformed herself; of how punk rock gave form and voice to her own fury and explosive energy.

Solnit recounts how she came to recognize the epidemic of violence against women around her, the street harassment that unsettled her, the trauma that changed her, and the authority figures who routinely disdained and disbelieved girls and women, including her. Looking back, she sees all these as consequences of the voicelessness that was and still is the ordinary condition of women, and how she contended with that while becoming a writer and a public voice for women's rights.

She explores the forces that liberated her as a person and as a writer—books themselves, the gay men around her who offered other visions of what gender, family, and joy could be, and her eventual arrival in the spacious landscapes and overlooked conflicts of the American West. These influences taught her how to write in the way she has ever since, and gave her a voice that has resonated with and empowered many others.

Praise for Recollections of My Nonexistence

“One of our foremost thinkers on womanhood explores the journey of her becoming in this deeply personal memoir about her youth in San Francisco. In her searing, sensitive voice, Solnit recalls the epidemic of violence against women . . . tracing her journey as a writer through her journey to speak out on behalf of women.” —Esquire

“An inquisitive, perceptive, and original thinker and enthralling writer . . . Solnit has created an unconventional and galvanizing memoir-in-essays that shares key, often terrifying, formative moments in her valiant writing life . . . [and] illuminates with piercing lyricism the body-and-soul dangers women face in our complexly, violently misogynist world . . . an incandescent addition to the literature of dissent and creativity.” —Booklist

“Enlightening . . . a thinking person’s book about writing, female identity, and freedom by a powerful and motivating voice for change.” —Publishers Weekly

Carmen Maria Machado
Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of In the Dream House and Her Body and Other Parties, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. She lives in Philadelphia with her wife.

Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books, including A Field Guide to Getting Lost, The Faraway Nearby, A Paradise Built in Hell, River of Shadows, and Wanderlust: A History of Walking. She is also the author of Men Explain Things to Me and many essays on feminism, activism and social change, hope, and the climate crisis. A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a regular contributor to the Guardian and Lit Hub.

Tickets are available online only at harvard.com and harvardbookstore.eventbrite.com. All tickets for this event include a $5 coupon for use in the bookstore. Pre-sale tickets include a copy of Recollections of My Nonexistence. Books bundled with pre-sale tickets may only be picked up at the venue the night of the event, and cannot be picked up in-store beforehand.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.

First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and look for the newsstand called Crimson Corner. Turn right and proceed north along Mass. Ave. going toward the Cambridge Common. You will pass the Harvard Coop, Bank of America, and CVS. The First Parish Church is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Church St. Please enter through the front door of the church.

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