Living in an altered past that never saw the end of the Great Depression, Jeannine, a librarian, is waiting to be married. Joanna lives in a different version of reality: she’s a 1970s feminist trying to succeed in a man’s world. Janet is from Whileaway, a utopian earth where only women exist. And Jael is a warrior with steel teeth and catlike retractable claws, from an earth with separate-and warring-female and male societies. When these four women meet, the results are startling, outrageous, and subversive.
As hard and mean and fine as Flannery O’Connor. . . . I wish that everyone would read Joanna Russ’ books. -Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina
“Joanna Russ offers a gallery of some of the most interesting female protagonists in current fiction, women who are rarely victims and sometimes even victors, but always engaged sharply and perceptively with their fate.” -Marge Piercy
“A stunning book, a work to be read with great respect. It’s also screamingly funny.” -Elizabeth Lynn, San Francisco Review of Books
“A work of frightening power, but it is also a work of great fictional subtlety. . . . It should appeal to all intelligent people who look for exciting ideation, crackling dialogue, provocative fictional games-playing in their reading.” -Douglas Barbour, Toronto Star