Who is someone that inspires you and why?

Photo by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash

Unlike the other prompts in the bloganuary, this one doesn’t take time at all. As soon as I read the prompt, I knew the person I was going to write about. She has been the guiding light for me in the past couple of years when everything seemed to be falling apart. She is none other than Rebecca Solnit.

Men Explain Things To Me was the first book I read which was written by Rebecca Solnit. The way she constructed the sentences and presented her ideas was spellbinding. I knew that I have found someone whose works I will be following for the rest of my life. But the next book I picked up, A field guide to getting lost, was nothing comparable to any of the non-fiction I have ever read. It seemed like Solnit deserves a genre of her own. Her essays are a class apart and how she connects the mundane with the philosophical will leave you speechless. It took me a long time to finish that book because I kept re-reading the entire passages. Sometimes I feel like I would never be able to fully imbibe the beauty in her words.

Sometimes when I get to know a writer, I dig up information about their politics. Solnit is an activist and a very vocal one at that. She never shies away from difficult issues and always has her view expressed clearly and concisely. It is something that I aspire to do with my life as well. I am still a baby in that way. But Solnit inspires me to follow that path. Even though I do not think that I could ever write as exquisitely as her, she has inspired me to find my own voice as well. That has been an important step for me and without which I would not be even doing this bloganuary prompt at all.

I am currently reading her autobiography, Recollections of My Non-existence. Again, another genre refuting book. If you go and start reading it, expecting the usual biography format, you will be disappointed. Those of us who admire the uniqueness Solnit brings out in her books will never be disappointed. She is going to be the one writer whose entire body of work I am going to read.

“The struggle to find a poetry in which your survival rather than your defeat is celebrated, perhaps to find your own voice to insist upon that, or to at least find a way to survive amidst an ethos that relishes your erasures and failures is work that many and perhaps most young women have to do.”



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