Daughters of the North
In her stunning novel, Hall imagines a new dystopia set in the not-too-distant future. England is in a state of environmental crisis and economic collapse. There has been a census, and all citizens have been herded into urban centers. Reproduction has become a lottery, with contraceptive coils fitted to every female of childbearing age...more
I walked into Hares and Hyenas wishing I could find a well-written lesbian book I hadn't read, but knowing it was unlikely.
I picked up The Carhullan Army tentatively - I don't usually like science fiction - bought it a little reluctantly, and then sat up last night way too late because I couldn't bear to stop reading.
Sarah Hall won the 2006/2007 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for this book. This is what Suzi Feay, chair of judges, said:
“Sarah Hall's fierce, uncomfort...more
The characters of Sister and Jackie had such potential as a mother/daughter revolutionary couple, but it seemed as...more
This is a very powerful novel - not necessary in subject which is on well trot ground though with a contemporary take with global climate change rather than religious fanaticism as the "villain", or better put the catalyst of disaster - nor in "world building" or action per se, since the novel has an odd truncated structure, but in voice, style and authenticity; the first person narrator and angry but determined voice works pitch perfect and you feel the anger, powerlessness, determination and...more
I haven't read this yet, but apparently environmental catastrophe hits and England is reduced to totalitarian camps. A much-mentioned feature of these camps is mandatory contraception for the women; a lottery is used to decide which few are allowed to bear children. Oh noes! Except, hang on--*bearing children is not an inaliable human right*, especially when the...more
The entire book is told as a series of tapes, dictated by a female prisoner detained under the "Insurgency Prevention (Unrestricted Powers) Act." So the reader knows from the beginning that Sister (as she chooses to be called) didn't completely succeed in her mission. Yet I found the...more
The protagonist, known only as "Sister", adapts to the harsh life of farming only to discover that freedom is as elusive in this p...more
I'm also not entirely sure about the gender essentialism of this novel. I'm a feminist, but... like... I don't know if it helps to be like "ALL MEN...more
Daughters of the North is...more
To be sure, the journey of Sister from beginning to e...more
Sarah Hall took a degree in English and Art History at Aberystwyth University, and began to take writing seriously from the age of twenty, first as a poet, several of her poems appearing in poetry magazines, then as a fiction-writer. She took an M Litt in Creative Writing at St Andrew's University and stayed on...more