Women essayists rule out the literary world’s boundaries
A crop of collections shows how #MeToo has reawakened the idea that the personal is political
“This thing has gone too far,” Rebecca Solnit writes in her latest essay collection Whose Story Is This?. “It has terrified people, driven them out of their workplaces and even professions, made them afraid to speak up and punished them for speaking. This thing, by which I mean misogyny.”
This is typical of Solnit’s style – the casual aside as argument clincher. The author of the viral 2008 essay, “Men Explain Things to Me”, and books on everything from the photography of Eadweard Muybridge to walking, many of her new essays read like public lectures: oratorical, funny, biting. Situating contemporary debates within the arc of history, Whose Story Is This? is more hopeful in tone than her previous collections The Mother of All Questions (2017) and Men Explain Things to Me (2014).