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Mizora: A World of Women

2.88  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
What would happen to our culture if men ceased to exist? Mary E. Bradley Lane explores this question in Mizora, the first known feminist utopian novel written by a woman. Vera Zarovitch is a Russian noblewoman—heroic, outspoken, and determined. A political exile in Siberia, she escapes and flees north, eventually finding herself, adrift and exhausted, on a strange sea at t ...more
Paperback, 143 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Bison Books (first published 1889)
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D.M. Dutcher
It's dull, but surprisingly anticipates the mindset of the modern world.

A Russian noblewoman flees prison to get marooned with Eskimoes. One day she paddles out and falls into the hollow earth to meet a race of perfect blonde women. Describing their society makes up the book.

The one striking point is that the utopia in spirit is ironically close to our current world or future ideas of it. They have a post-scarcity knowledge economy that makes universal education a prime goal. They believe that i
...more
Robert Wood
Jan 20, 2014 Robert Wood rated it liked it
Unlike a lot of the readers of this text, I found the book to be enjoyable, but I like the kind of didacticism that is exhibited in the text. It's interesting to compare and contrast this text with the later and more well known Herland, written in 1916. If Herland places pedagogy at the center of the narrative, with a muted emphasis on Eugenics, Mizora reverses this emphasis, heavily emphasizing racial purity, which is directly linked to scientific progress. An interesting read, and certainly ha ...more
B. Zedan
Jul 21, 2008 B. Zedan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Folks who'd like a feminist angle on the hollow-earth bit
So, hm. Kinda more enjoyable than that other hollow-earth book The Coming Race, the two of which I think would work nicely together in a great contrast essay. The idealised utopian folks still practice the arts, to the point of crazy ability (they have flexible glass and all sorts of neat shit). There exists a lovely balance and interaction between science and art. I gotta wonder if the author and narrator's gender has anything to do with that. Bonus! The utopia is populated only by ladies.

And t
...more
Wolverina
Apr 02, 2014 Wolverina rated it liked it
An interesting utopia of vegan,scientist feminist ladies win a world without men. The protagonist has an interesting backstory skimmed over at the start to.

And then it destroys itself with its creepy racist and ableist eugenics as a way to create a utopia.

This does seem to be a thing in books of this age though, especially Utopias. Social Darwinism has a lot to answer for.

Really enjoyed it as a thought experiment when it wasn't making me rage with anger, goddamnit is there any interesting suf
...more
Lynette
Jan 20, 2014 Lynette rated it liked it
Yay for women, we can do anything, and the all-female country of Mizora proves it. Some progressive for the time ideas on universal free education, economics, etc, so it gets good points for all that. However, the Mizorans are basically Nazis who successfully rid their country of all dark-haired and dark-complexioned people, men, and used eugenics to filter out anyone who doesn't fit their narrow (blonde, athletic) concept. So minus a few hundred points there
Amy
Dec 23, 2012 Amy rated it did not like it
Painfully boring. No plot or characterization. Some mildly interesting ideas for a Utopia, but none developed thoroughly enough to make it worth pursuing. The undertones of racism and eugenics make the premise of peace and excellence via universal education look like a hypocritical farce. Not even interesting as a footnote to feminist literature or history.
Slinkyboy
Mostly feminist utopian claptrap, and pretty dry feminist utopian claptrap at that, but with a few interesting bits.

I liked that anyone wishing to fill a public office was required to pass an examination and get certified to serve.

Also cool how she predicted my Roomba 130 years ago.
Cindy
To read along with Herland.

Part of the "hollow Earth" class of literature. (wait, what?) Interesting Wikipedia article as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mizora
Josh
Jan 04, 2015 Josh rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-scifi
[pro] Incredible ideas are [con] narrated in a less than engaging voice.
[con] All dialogue is prim and proper--which suits the context very well.

[pro] I'd tag this as hollow earth, utopia, and matriarchy
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