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Summary

Often compared to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale and Naomi Alderman's The Power - Woman on the Edge of Time has been hailed as a classic of speculative science fiction. Disturbing and forward thinking, Marge Piercy’s remarkable novel will speak to a new generation.

Connie Ramos has been unjustly incarcerated in a mental institution with no hope of release. The authorities view her as a danger to herself and to others. Her family has given up on her.

But Connie has a secret - a way to escape the confines of her cell. She can see the future.

For fans of The Handmaid's Tale, this is a reissue of a much loved feminist classic.

©2020 Marge Piercy (P)2020 W F Howes

Critic reviews

"She is a serious writer who deserves the sort of considered attention which, too often, she does not get." (Margaret Atwood) 

What listeners say about Woman on the Edge of Time

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Interesting vision but disappointing ending

As someone very despairing of the world now I really enjoyed the vision of the future in this book and the story is engaging and well told. I found the ending frustratingly ambiguous and un-satisfying, but on balance I'd still recommend it for the positives.

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Gripping and enlightening - a book way ahead of it’s time

Woman on the edge of time is fast paced and fascinating. A revealing glimpse into the racism, sexism and ableism of late 70’s America, contrasted with a utopian future where autonomy is held in high regard.
The depiction of the recent past rings true, and much is still familiar to today’s audience. The vision of the utopian future feels startlingly current, and will be refreshing to people who long for a post colonial world where gender is not restrictive.
A great read

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A classic of Anarcho-feminist sci-fi.

Loved this book for years, so great to have it as an audiobook. The reading is excellent and felt natural to my interpretation of the book. Wish someone would make it into a film or series...

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Recommended listening.

I read this book twice during the 1970s and 80s and referred to it as part of a dissertation I was planning to write on the subject of "feminist utopias", but which was never completed. I have always viewed it as an important book which provides a scathing attack on society at the time, in particular its treatment of economically and socially disadvantaged people, the mental health system and especially women and racial/ethnic minorities.
The utopian society into which the central character transports herself is an interesting one and is pertinent to our current time in its de-emphasis on biological sex differences, as illustrated by the use of "per" in place of "hers" or "his"/"he" or "she" and "person" instead of "her" or "him", the crucial difference being that gender/sex choice is made not from a sexually unequal starting point, but from one in which everyone is treated with respect and regarded as of equal worth. Indeed there is no hierarchy of any kind.

The story has lost little of its freshness and relevance, which is sad given that, as someone who was young at the time of its first publication, I would have hoped to be living currently in a world a little more like the utopia described. I am dismayed that, despite some improvements, there have also been many retrograde steps and we still have such a long way to go.

The narration was fine but somewhat rushed. More pauses needed between sentences.

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  • Metal Rabbit
  • 26-04-21

Very relevant in these times

Decades after this book was first published, Psychiatry continues to force its debilitating and damaging treatments disproportionately on ethnic and racial minorities, on those who live below the poverty line and all who have no access to community support. The biopsychiatry model is being challenged, but in times of corporate and State merger, this information is not shared in mainstream news or taught in most universities. Oral histories and works of fictions, which are based on them, are valuable.

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  • L Cat
  • 09-05-22

DNF

uuuggghhhh Connie sucks as a character. way too many ideas for one book... jus drags an is boring to follow.

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  • Beth Cohen
  • 09-12-21

great writer

loved it, related to it, internalized it. this book depicts a history and possible outcomes. wonderful feminist reading.