Since 1990, historian, activist, and essayist Rebecca Solnit has written more than twenty books, on subjects ranging from natural disasters and wandering to feminism and social change. In the past, Rebecca has singled out female authors such as Virginia Woolf as important influences. Today, though, she’ll be talking about a more surprising writer to whom she feels she owes a debt: George Orwell. In this conversation, she elaborates on her unconventional view of Orwell, and she offers an alternative reading of 1984. And she explains why, despite Orwell’s troubling silence about the plight of women, she believes we should still read his works.