In which the question is “Why don’t you have kids?”
I work in a pretty Democratic-voting but ultimately culturally conservative environment, so nothing about this book rings untrue in the slightest….for the most part. I also think that a lot of these essays, like in the previous book, are fairly good distillations of essential points.
But the issue is, that Rebecca Solnit seems to say all the right things. Certainly, for a relatively limited subset of ideas and people who hold opinions on these ideas, she says all the right things. But they’re the same all the right things that pretty much everybody else already says.
So by saying all the right things, she doesn’t really say anything new.
And, here’s the rub, by setting up part of the whole deal as “people who disagree with me I laugh at and scorn,” it’s kind of like a pre-warning against disagreeing with her. And I don’t even really disagree with her. But it feels like a lot of collating information and opinionalia from the aether of recent thought into a collection and making a book out of them that feels a little cynical. And in addition, so much of the book puts her at the center of commentary, even though this isn’t a memoir, and that feels even more cynical. There’s a kind of imbalance in this book then between a memoir and an objective(ish) commentary that can’t find its center. And so the end result would be some head-nodding, sure, but also a lot of “And?”