Woman on the Edge of Time
But Connie also bears witness to another potential outcome: a dystopian society of grotesque exploitation. One will become our world. And Connie herself may strike the decisi ...more
It’s interesting how the lens of three decades of life experience can sharpen the focus of certain stories—and even parts of stories. When I first read Woman on the Edge of Time not long after it was published (1976), I was barely into my 20s and already a reliable cog in the corporate machine. At that time, I enjoyed Marge Piercy’s story of a 37-year-old Chicana woman in New York whose already-complicated life takes a twist for the bizarre when she begins to communicate with an ambassador from...more
I want to travel back in time to stop Marge Piercy from publishing this novel. There would be plenty of enjoyable things to see and do in 1976 New York -- experience the Bicentennial celebrations, watch the Cincinnati Reds sweep the Yankees in the World Series, check out Blondie perform at CBGB -- but erasing this novel from history w ...more
So What’s It About?
Connie Ramos, a woman in her mid-thirties, has been declared insane. But Connie is overwhelmingly sane, merely tuned to the future, and able to communicate with the year 2137. As her doctors persuade her to agree to an operation, Connie struggles to force herself to listen to the future and its lessons for today….
What I Thought- The F Word
Before I dive into the minutiae of this review, I do ...more
Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.
In the meant ...more
So it's good I took the time to read this now. Just in case I never actually did before.
The story begins with 30-somet ...more
I thought this book spoke well to three broad topics:
-What it meant to be a mental patient in the 70's
-What the future could be like if we continue to pollute our planet and our bodies with syn ...more
I want to like this book. It’s one of those rare science fiction books that contains many great ideas in action, and it represents segments of the population that rarely get a say in the genre. After reading a lot of science fiction that panders to white people, I felt like this was a great change of pace. I was primed to enjoy it, to hear new perspectives on distant horizons.
Rating: 3.3-3.5 stars
If the last two novels I had read before this had been Paul McAuley's The Quiet War and Bruce Sterling's The Caryatids then I may have nudged my rating into the 4-star category but they weren't. Instead they were Sylvia Townsend Warner's Lolly Willowes, Mr. Fortune's Maggot and Summer Will Show, an ...more
This novel also has some nice poetic moments. In one of the more illustrative passages, Connie's friends from the ...more
Unlike other utopia novels, Piercy gives you room to agree or not. This is admirable and is as it should be; I can't stand force-feeding-shrill-polemic books (Ayn Rand, I'm looking at you). As John Stuart Mill said, "The worst offense that can be committed by a polemic is to stigmatize those wh ...more
Even after my lengthy intermission (I had to return the book to the library, and then wait for the hold to work its way back to me), I found myself instantly caught up in it again.
The only thing I'm on the fence a ...more
The story follows Connie Ramos, a Mexican-American woman who finds she can travel (or project) herself into the future, in the year 2137. Society has changed, with people living ...more
Piercy has created a Utopia, one I would want to live in and see more of. That has not happened before with all the Utopias I've read about.
Connie's life and experiences are so extremely shocking, because as a reader I know there have been women going through this in real life. Piercy gave them a voice to be heard by many for years to come. ...more
I had very high expectations for this book which would've been hard to meet and in fact we're not met. The ...more
Editing my rating because I have not been able to stop thinking about this book since I finished it, and I named my Animal Crossing island Mattapoisett in its honor. I still want to read this for a book club. Discussing the topics with other engaged readers would likely change my experience with it.
I had to sit with this one for a few days. I understand why it's a feminist literary classic; I was writing a new essay in my head with every page. It would have been nice to read thi ...more
This has all the markings of something I should appreciate: alternate world byway of psychic connection, nontraditional middle-aged protagonist woman, social justice-y, criticism of gender norms and mental health institutions, plotless and without contrived action.
But it's kind of blah. A book based on a lot of thought, but doesn't really foster much thinking. A then this, then this, then this kind of book. Moving on. Go away, b ...more
This book is really beautiful and sensitive in a lot places. (Piercy is noticably also a poet.)
Critique of psychiatry, time travel, how can we lead good relationships? Hope and resistance.
Marge Piercy reflecting back on the book 40 years later (Link to article):
"I am always interested in who controls technology in an ...more
I loved reading about the utopian society, but I didn't read it entirely without misgivings. It was fun to wonder would things be better this or that way, but also I found myself wondering what exactly the author intended at some points. I mean, I know that Connie's observation ...more
When I take a step back and think about WHEN this was written (early 70's), it's a bit mind-blowing, really. In addition, the creation of an entire way of speaking - all the future slang - is incredible. I'm sure many readers thought this annoying or clunky, but I admired h ...more
Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan, to a family deeply affected by the Great Depression. She was the first in her family to attend college, studying at the University of Michigan. Winning a ...more