“We may be living through times of unprecedented change, but in uncertainty lies the power to influence the future. Now is not the time to despair, but to act.”The Edinburgh International Book Festival is delighted to welcome the American author, essayist and political activist Rebecca Solnit, as she marks the launch of her new memoir in her only Scottish appearance.Winner of the 2019 Windham-Campbell Prize for Literature, Solnit is a revered and prolific commentator on some of the most pressing issues of our day, from the rights of women and people of colour to the climate disaster. Her 2014 collection Men Explain Things to Me helped coin the term ‘mansplaining’, while her forthright and piercing writing for outlets like the Guardian and the London Review of Books have won this inspiring author an even greater legion of devoted readers.In conversation with Scottish poet, novelist and playwright Jenni Fagan, Solnit today launches Recollections of My Non-Existence, a powerful and galvanising exploration of her own journey of self-discovery and societal understanding. After studying in Paris aged 17 and moving to San Francisco at 19, Solnit found friends and allies among the artists and activists of America’s west coast, becoming a fervent campaigner against the violence wrought on women and the environment on a daily basis, as well as a critic of Bush’s wars and more besides. Though deeply passionate about her politics, Solnit’s work remains lyrical, clear-sighted, welcoming and beautiful; she writes knowing that to inspire change is to offer hope. Her new memoir is no different, a poetic account of how people can come together to make a difference, which in unravelling her experiences enables her to light the way for the next vital generation of activists, poets, writers and thinkers.Meet and hear from one of America’s foremost essayists in an unmissable event perfect for anyone concerned with the state of the world and what we might do about it. Tickets cost £15 (£12 concessions). The event will include a chance to ask questions and will be followed by a book signing, with copies of Recollections of My Non-Existence available to purchase on the night. Supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.