A Paradise Built in Hell (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
Rebecca Solnit, author of ten books and recipient of both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Mark Lynton History Prize for River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (2003), has written on such diverse topics as art exhibitions, photography, the history of walking, and the spread of urbanism. In A Paradise Built in Hell, a collection of essays most of which she has previously published in a variety of magazines or as chapters in books, she takes up and expands upon many of the arguments she considered in her ninth book, Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics (2007). The essays focus on the occurrences of aftermaths of five major North American disasters: the San Francisco earthquake of 1906; the Halifax, Nova Scotia, explosion of 1917; the Mexico City earthquake of 1985; the terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Center in 2001; and the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Solnit does not limit herself to discussing only these disasters: She also gives brief consideration to such other disasters as the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake that killed more than seventy thousand people, three successive cyclones that hit Madagascar, the London blitz during World War II, Nicaragua’s earthquake of 1972, and Argentina’s economic meltdown in 2001. She also provides cogent asides in discussing the major disasters on which she focuses. For...
(The entire section is 1691 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
Booklist 105, no. 21 (July l, 2009): 15.
The Christian Science Monitor, September 15, 2009, pp. 25-26.
Kirkus Reviews 77, no. 13 (July 1, 2009):705.
Library Journal 134, no. 12 (July 1, 2009): 115.
Mother Jones 34, no. 5 (September/October, 2009): 75.
The New Republic 240, no. 16 (September 9, 2009): 35-42.
The New York Review of Books 56, no. 17 (November 5, 2009): 50-52.
The New York Times Book Review, September 6, 2009, p. 12.
The New York Times Book Review, September 13, 2009, p. 26.
The New Yorker 85, no. 31 (October 5, 2009): 79.
Progressive 73, no. 11 (November, 2009): 43-44.
Publishers Weekly 256, no. 17 (April 27, 2009): 119.
The Wilson Quarterly 33, no. 4 (Autumn, 2009): 102-103.
(The entire section is 74 words.)