Best Local Author - 2007
S.F. is a tough town for a literary genius; there's a long legacy of bombastically talented writers who've passed through, from the Beats to Joan Didion to the McSweeney's kids. Rebecca Solnit doesn't have to scrap for her mantle, though. Like Didion, she's an accessible intellectual powerhouse who shares her astoundingly wide-ranging and unfailingly astute observations without any pretension or clunky prose. She can waltz you gracefully through obscure blues songs, art history, the ideology of urbanism, the narrative of the American West, punk rock, Alfred Hitchcock, and the concepts of walking, getting lost, feminism, and living in the Bay Area. After reading her works you come out a better, more aware citizen for every bit of knowledge and insight she drops. Did you know that the little alleys around the Montgomery BART (Minna, Jessie, etc.) are all named for 19th-century prostitutes? Read A Field Guide to Getting Lost or Hollow City and get your mind gently and thoughtfully bent.