Cultivating Place: Loving the Surface of the Earth: Orwell's Roses, with Rebecca Solnit
In this first week of March, we kick off Women’s History Month in conversation with one of the great critical thinkers and writers of our time, Rebecca Solnit. Writer, historian, feminist, and activist, Rebecca’s long bibliography epitomizes her wide-ranging humanitarian interests—from politics to cultural geography to environmentalism and an abiding love of the earth herself.
In her hands, all of these topics are revelations on our culture’s many fault lines and the human actions and responses—from walking, to reading, to traveling or gardening with open minds, eyes, and hearts—that might bridge these fault lines.
Rebecca’s many books include Wanderlust, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, The Far Away Nearby, Men Explain Things to Me, and Orwell’s Roses, “a lush exploration of politics, roses, and pleasure, and a fresh take on George Orwell as an avid gardener whose political writing was grounded [and sometimes refueled] by his passion for the natural world.”
While many of Rebecca’s titles fall firmly under the purview of the concerns of Cultivating Place, it was her 2021 title, Orwell’s Roses, the was the catalyst for my inviting her to be a guest on the program – that and a generous nudge from Maria Popova. Enjoy!
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Photos courtesy of Penguin Random House; bio portrait by Trent Davis Bailey; Image of Orwell with his goat Muriel: Orwell with his goat Muriel. / © Estate of Dennis Collings, © Orwell Archive, UCL Library Special Collections // CC BY-NC 4.0