...A tangle is fairly common among antlered creatures and some horned ones, such as bighorn sheep, and it's given rise to the phrase 'lock horns,' which I'd never thought about, any more than I had ever thought why a penknife is called a penknife until I came across Wordsworth mentioning that he used one to trim his quill pen. Language is full of such fossils of the actual and the natural, but what struck me on this visit was the grimness of the stags' fate and the ease with which it turned to metaphor and to warning....
American journalist and author. Born in San Francisco, Solnit skipped high school altogether, instead passing the GED exam at sixteen, taking classes in a junior college, living for a time in Paris, and, at the age of twenty, completing her B.A. at San Francisco State University. She earned her master's in journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1984. Since then she has been a journalist, an activist for environmental and human-rights causes, and the author of a dozen books. Solnit's subjects span a remarkable range, from art history to human wanderlust to utopian projects. Her River of Shadows (2003), a study of the pioneering nineteenth-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Solnit's most recent book is A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster (2009). See also believermag.com.