A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit


76479Rebecca Solnit has emerged as an inventive and original writer whose mind is daring in the connections it makes. A Field Guide to Getting Lost draws on emblematic moments and relationships in Solnit’s own life to explore the issues of wandering, being lost, and the uses of the unknown. The result is a distinctive, stimulating, and poignant voyage of discovery.


I was hoping for thematically linked essays or a tight stream of consciousness but A Field Guide to Getting Lost feels more like a brain dump.

Solnit covers many different aspects of getting lost – losing your way, losing knowledge, the loss of species, the loss of people, losing yourself. I particularly liked a couple of sections in the chapter Abandon such as:

Maybe she knew that to be truly alive death had to be part of the picture just as winter must.

But for every interesting insight there are tens of pages that float by unremarkably. We visit her dreams, turtles, and the desert again and again but have little to show for it.

I was hoping for something more solid, a more outward-looking view on what it means to get and be lost. Not bad, per ce, but way too much navel gazing for me.