Excellent author Rebecca Solnit is in town

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Hi folks. This is a brief note to let you know that Rebecca Solnit, one of the best and most engaging environmental writers out there, is in town right now. She’s speaking tonight (Monday) at the Ivy Creek Natural Area at 7:30, and again tomorrow at the Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room at UVA (that one’s at 2pm).

I’ve read several of Solnit’s books and have always been blown away by her wide-ranging interests, her ability to connect many threads under a coherent theme, and her lay-it-down moral clarity. Here’s a sample of her writing, and here’s an excerpt:

"When I drive from here to there, speed, privacy, control, and safety are easy to claim. When I walk, what happens is more vague, more ambiguous—and in many circumstances much richer. I am out in the world. It’s exercise, though not so quantifiably as on a treadmill in a gym with a digital readout. It’s myriad little epiphanies and encounters that knit me more tightly into my place and maybe enhance the place overall. The carbon emissions are essentially nil. Many more benefits are more subjective, more ethereal—and more wordy. You can’t describe them in a few familiar phrases; and if you’re not practiced at describing them, you may not be able to articulate them at all. It is difficult to value what cannot be named. Since someone makes money every time you buy a car or fill it up, there’s a whole commercial language built around getting us to drive; there’s little or no language promoting the free act of walking. Have you not driven a Ford lately?"

Come out and see this smart woman in person! 

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