Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
This is a book that has stayed with me for decades. I first read it when I was just finding my feminist feet. It is not a perfect book. Few descriptions of utopian visions are. However, the story of Connie Ramos, a poor Chicana forced into a mental institution by her niece’s lying pimp, is compelling. Each dreadful chapter describing Connie’s grim circumstances is followed by the relief offered by a chapter describing Connie’s travel through time and space to an ideal community. This community is Piercy’s feminist vision of what the future could be. The book made me think differently about people with mental illness (is Connie mad or gifted?), and also imagine what my own feminist utopia might be. I reread it recently and it still pulled me in.
Woman on the Edge of Time was a best seller and is a classic of its genre, both for its feminist and for its science fiction elements. There is a lot of material about it on the web.
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