Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

July Books 45) The Female Man

45) The Female Man, by Joanna Russ

Of my recent run of sf classics, this has been the most challenging and satisfying read. (And it's likely to stay that way; the ones I have left are Grey Lensman, Dhalgren and Again, Dangerous Visions.) Russ's ideas of parallel worlds with utterly different relations between the sexes are of course partly didactic, but there is a message I think in the way in which her characters slip from one to the other; perhaps we are meant to ask ourselves if they are really so far apart? The narrative technique is tremendous as well, the kind of thing that many of the New Wave writers were trying for and few of them ever really came close to pulling off. I'd read and enjoyed the Alyx stories, years ago; this was completely different, but really good.
Tags: bookblog 2007, sf: tiptree / otherwise award, writer: joanna russ

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