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Customer Review

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Speculative politics and patriarchy, 12 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Woman on the Edge of Time (A Women's Press Classic) (Paperback)
An important (if flawed) example of feminist SF, Women On The Edge Of Time escapes that old cliche that nothing dates so quickly as visions of the future, which really speak only to the time of their imagining. But this might have more to do with the persistence (or resurgence) of the patriarchy which it critiques than with any quality of the book itself. The alternation between worlds is nicely imagined and thankfully free from a certain kind of technical obsession that we think of as 'masculinist'. The future citizens manage to take on a life of their own but lack the contradictions that make a work like LeGuin's The Dispossessed superior in so many ways. The language is itself a little pedestrian and reads a little too much like a morality tale - despite her incarceration in a mental institution and her outbreaks of violence and drug-taking, Connie is not quite complicated (or multivalent) enough to break cover into believable autonomy. Many of Piercy's central concerns, and more than a few features of her utopian future, are reminiscent of Joanna Russ's The Female Man. That is a much better place to go for the pleasures of feminist speculative fictions. Nevertheless, this has something going for it, even if that says more about politics and patriarchy than about literature.
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