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The Faraway Nearby

The Faraway Nearby

A New York Times Notable Book

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

A personal, lyrical narrative about storytelling and empathy, from the author of Orwell's Roses

Apricots. Her mother's disintegrating memory. An invitation to Iceland. Illness. These are Rebecca Solnit's raw materials, but The Faraway Nearby goes beyond her own life, as she spirals out into the stories she heard and read—from fairy tales to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein—that helped her navigate her difficult passge. Solnit takes us into the lives of others—an arctic cannibal, the young Che Guevara among the leprosy afflicted, a blues musician, an Icelandic artist and her labyrinth—to understand warmth and coldness, kindness and imagination, decay and transformation, making art and making self. This captivating, exquisitely written exploration of the forces that connect us and the way we tell our stories is a tour de force of association, a marvelous Russian doll of a book that is a fitting companion to Solnit's much-loved A Field Guide to Getting Lost.