Rebecca Solnit on the Value of Nonlinear Narratives

November 23, 2021 | 1 book mentioned

At Literary HubRebecca Solnit discusses her latest work, Orwell’s Roses, a reflection on George Orwells life, politics, and passion for gardening and nature.

Solnit examines how depth in meaning can be acquired by meandering, detouring, and lingering in the details, and cites notable works of nonfiction that have non-chronological structures, including her own book, which moves from a range of topics related to the natural world, the meaning and purpose of art, Stalinism, climate, feminism, and slavery.

Its structure, “is akin to taking seven walks from the same starting point…I learned from labyrinths that to get to the center you turn away from it again and again as you follow the windings that will, in the end, take you to the center,” Solnit says. “There are subjects you can better understand through analogy, context, parallels, the view from the distance, rather than via direct and dogged pursuit.” 

is an assistant editor at The Millions. She is a graduate of the Inkluded Academy 2021, a summer publishing course for graduates from BIPOC communities, and works as a freelance writer and uploading specialist.

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