The Gate to Women's Country (S.F. MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 14 Mar 2013
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‘Poignant and profound… I’m deeply moved’
‘Lively, thought-provoking… the plot is ingenious, packing a wallop of a surprise’
Ursula K. LeGuin
‘Shocking and entertaining… a wonderful fantasy which explores the role of the sexes’
‘It’s grand… one of the most involving, serious and deeply felt studies of the relations between the sexes that I have ever read’
Marion Zimmer Bradley
‘Tepper not only keeps us reading, she provokes a new look at the old issues’
‘Remember reading? Really reading, I mean – for knowledge, transformation, survival – that’s how I found myself reading Sheri S. Tepper’
One of the great works of feminist SF, from the acclaimed author of Beauty and Grass.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
So "The Gate..." must surely be the incendiary work of feminist ideology that earned Tepper this reputation?
No, not really. In contrast to, say, The Female Man (a book that I found too complicated and whimsical to finish) this is not a thinly-veiled, 400-page dissertation on feminism. The format here is to contrast two wildly different and theoretical social systems - one an oppressive patriarchy, the other a contrived, but benign matriarchy - using the post-apocalypse genre in the same way that Ursula K Le Guin uses space colonies in The Dispossessed to compare unlikely political regimes. There isn't an overt agenda or moral here, just a good story that plays with lots of aspects of gender politics. Also, Women's Country is not a Utopia: it is first portrayed as pragmatic and dogmatic, and then slowly revealed to serve a purpose that is rather sinister.Read more ›
Womens Country, I have to wonder if I read the same book? The one I
read was exciting, thoughtful, inventive and offered interesting
insights into the traditional sociological roles of men and
women. Her characters are believably fallible, no stereo types
here! Sheri Tepper has a neat, quirky sense of humour, an eye
for absurities. This is a good read, hell it's a damm good read!
I couldn't decide when I read the blurb whether I'd read Gate to Women's Country before. It turned out I had, but it must have been a long time ago and I think I got a lot more out of it this time. Tepper doesn't pull her punches. It's very clever the way she interweaves the Greek Play alongside the main story as it sheds so much light on the way Women's Country works. The things these women had to do to bring their society up to a decent level of civilisation. Wow - these are some strong women.
I found the ending/ultimate conclusion of this book a lot more predictable than many of the reviews, and the introduction, seemed to suggest and wondered about or waited on supposed twists which I did not feel arrived. However, that said I did really enjoy the book, I felt that pace and style of writing were perfect, it is plot driven more than character driven, as a lot of political science fiction as it engages in "world building" or examinations of specific social structural change, or satirises the present somehow. Although this said, there do emerge protagonists and antagonists within the story who are well developed and display enough depth to be interesting, they are not simply "cut outs" or one-dimensional distractions from descriptions of a particular social-political order.
The story features the life of Stavia, a resident of woman's country, a matriarchal society which co-exists with the patriarchal garrison, children are given up at the age of five to their fathers, and can elect either to live the life of a warrior or return to the matriarchal society as servitors, a deceptively servile social position which predictably turns out to be more than it seems. The introduction displays some good insights into how the story unfolds, just what the key differences between the matriarchal and patriarchal societies are, one being long term in its perspective and strategy, the other more short term.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great, thought provoking read. Would highly recommend to anyone with an interest in classical civilisations and women's writing.Published 8 months ago by Laura Killalea
i loved the idea of this divided society and ruminations on an answer to humanities apparent headlong dash to self destruction.Published 10 months ago by Vic
Wonderful imagination and a great story about a future post apocalypse world.Published 21 months ago by Ms. K. S. Brooks
Only after reading a book do I review others commentary. What I like about all Tepper's books that I've read, is that the worlds and civilisations seem vividly realised. Read morePublished 22 months ago by May Bees
Sheri S. Tepper is a fine writer who only needs apply the occasional deft touch to keep her big ideas – here, a society segregated into warrior men and artist/politician/healer... Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2014 by Jim Noy
Sheri Tepper is like the X-Files - some episodes are amazing and some are pants. This book is very firmly in the non-pants half of her output. It is, quite simply, brilliant. Read morePublished on 21 Nov. 2013 by Fleecy Moss
I read grass by accident. This one was deliberate. I already bought beauty because I'm totally addicted. Feminist fantasy? Read morePublished on 15 Aug. 2013 by Ebgeekalmighty