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The Wanderground: Stories of the Hill Women

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  172 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
This novel tells of a world in which men and women are separated, with women fleeing to the hills for freedom while men remain in the cities. Women gain telepathic abilities, unique flying and healing techniques, and go on duty to assist women in the cities still struggling for enlightenment.
Paperback, 196 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Spinsters Ink Books (first published 1978)
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"There are no words more obscene than 'I can't live without you.' Count them the deepest affront to the person." This idea is presented in the opening chapter of Sally Miller Gearhart's The Wanderground and, based on this, among other elements of that first chapter, I thought I might like this book. This does turn out to be an important idea in the book, but ultimately I could not get into The Wanderground. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first is that The Wanderground, well, it kind
Jul 19, 2007 Colelea rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of femninst utopia/dystopia novels
This is a fabulous feminist science fiction novel. Visionary. It is a compelling mixture of Utopian/Dystopian fiction. I really loved this book. It is harrowing and hopeful, sad and joyful. The basis of the story is that the Earth is revolting against partiarchy and industrialism and one day all the machines stop working... men become impotent (or infertile I forget which) and women are enslaved with the ruling men in the cities. Radical womyn begin escaping into the country and start beautiful ...more
Feb 27, 2012 maile rated it liked it
This book is more fun to talk and think about in a historical context than it is to actually read. I chose to read it because I wanted to see how the author, the founder of the first women's studies department in the united states, used her imagination outside of academic discourse.

The lesbian utopia Gearhart has imagined is a series of snapshots into the lives of many hill women. This book was hard to follow in the traditional sense of how a novel is normally expected to be put together. I saw
James Rhodes
Mar 28, 2014 James Rhodes rated it liked it
This was a great concept and full of vivid description and the consistent presentation of a plausible utopia that is gynocratic in nature. However, the lack of a clear protagonist made it some what of a drag to read. Page after page passed by without any character interaction or development and as a reader who prefers engaging characters to a blanket imagining of concept, this fell a little flat for me. Nonetheless, there is a lot to appreciate here if you have an interest in utopian sci-fi or t ...more
May 13, 2009 Aik rated it liked it
Shelves: utopia
It's always unfortunate when feminism turns into anti-man sexism. It was a good book, but thematically bleh. Do radical feminists actually think that all men want to rape them (unless they're gay, of course, in which case they're mildly more acceptable). The anti-man thing was never really challenged in the book, so I have to assume that this is what the author actually believes to be a good thing.
Robert Wood
Jan 18, 2014 Robert Wood rated it liked it
I'm about 75 pages in, and so far, I can definitely see why this is a historically significant work, but it's not that interesting. It's territory that is much better covered by Russ in the Female Man, LeGuin in Always Coming Home, and the work of Charnas. Definitely a reflection of the dominant cultural feminist framework of the time. Having completed the novel, I have a bit more appreciation for it's attempt to create an alternative narrative form, although it's not altogether successful. The ...more
Jul 20, 2016 Elle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Utopian/Dystopian Lovers
No men equals women realizing their supernatural powers...??? I read this and used it in my is rather interesting.
A lesbian separatist utopia.

Many women have left the Cities and live in the wilderness in harmony with nature through their psychic powers. They can communicate telepathically, monitor the borders at a distance, heal, fly, levitate objects, and reproduce without men.

Men cannot enter the women's land without dying, and cannot even leave the cities without becoming impotent. Also machines and guns won't work outside of the cities. There are some women still in the cites but they are brutally opp
Jan 21, 2016 Itisme rated it really liked it
This was a great read. When I say I own this book -I have a copy of this book which my post secondary institution got the right to print out for a class. The book is out of print. Sure would love a copy although my school photocopied version has a ton of notes on it and there would never be room for those kind of notes within the margins of the book in its real form.

read in 2003
Dec 23, 2015 Alison rated it liked it
*Accidentally spends a whole month stuck on a book while studying for Italian finals* My bad. I didn't hate this but it didn't thrill me. Because it took me so long to read, maybe I missed some huge connection that makes the book more special, because while I liked the idea, nothing really drew me in. I couldn't keep track of characters very well either. However, I really enjoyed and was fascinated by the parts that happened in a world something like ours, where men fight to police women's bodie ...more
May 31, 2009 Darla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth reading, but primarily because it is revered by the Fem Sci Fi folk. I did not enjoy this one as much because it's lighter than the average and a little bit fluffy. Okay, so I like my Fem Sci Fi man-hating. Still, if one wants to get a full rounded look at this genre, this title is a must.

Recommended reading from:
The most enjoyable of the women's press sf label books that I have read so far. Fluffy and wandering in many ways, and the anti-science, 70s/80s mysticism is a little bit too much for me at some points, but otherwise really interesting exploration of the idea of lesbian separatist Utopias.
Oct 22, 2011 Xdyj rated it liked it
Shelves: o, l-f-ar-af-s, q, fa, rtw
Probably quite influential in the 70s, but today it's very dated and imo way too essentialist and anti-science for my liking.
Jul 04, 2012 Ian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed on SF Mistressworks:
I stopped reading this book after one of the characters started communing with trees.
Dec 17, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing
Gimme a break. It was college. I was a women's studies minor. What choice did I have?
Susan Clark-cook
Sep 05, 2011 Susan Clark-cook rated it really liked it
An interesting take on a possible future world where women hold dominance.
Jun 28, 2012 Kristen rated it it was ok
I'm still wrapping my head around this book...
Sep 23, 2008 Upsofloating07 rated it really liked it
Interesting utopia/dystopia story.
Feb 26, 2011 Merry rated it it was amazing
Read in the 70s.
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Sally Miller Gearhart is an American teacher, feminist, science fiction writer, and political activist. In 1973 she became the first open lesbian to obtain a tenure-track faculty position when she was hired by San Francisco State University, where she helped establish one of the first women and gender study programs in the country. She later became a nationally known gay rights activist.
More about Sally Miller Gearhart...

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