From the Library: Book Club Podcast // Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

The logo for our Community lending Library featuring an open book

A cover of A Woman on the Edge of Time with the title written boldly in bricksAs you may already know, our library hosts a monthly book club in Portland, OR. We're currently in the midst of three months of feminist sci-fi picks. We got together last month to discuss Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy, we'll be reading The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood this month, and Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler in August.

We love the varying groups of Portland-based feminists that get together each month to talk books with us, and we want to share these conversations with those of you who can't be here with us in-person each month. So, we're going to start sharing pieces of these book clubs with you via podcast!

On June 19th, our book club met up to discuss Woman on the Edge of Time. Tune in to hear us share our thoughts on Marge Piercy's feminist sci-fi classic.

Stream this conversation below, download it from, or subscribe to Bitch radio via iTunes or RSS! Transcript available here (.doc).

by Ashley McAllister
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2 Comments Have Been Posted

You're in my head

<p>Bitch, my love, have you been reading my mind? <em>Woman on the Edge of Time</em> and <em>The Handmaid's Tale</em>? Now, if only I lived in Portland.</p>

Woman on the Edge of Time

This book was so good. I really liked how Piercy chucked the heteronormative script, then brought it back again to explore relationships between people as social participants in various group settings and as individuals that depending on the time and place (and gender, sexuality, race, and class status) nurture independence and freedom or suppress and manipulate for power. The juxtaposition between "present" and "future" societies really accentuated these two extremes.
No mention of Connie's accidental trip to the other future and her conversations with the genetically altered feminine and masculine persons that also illustrated what could happen with a continued acceptance of the injustices of industry made under the banner of the betterment society as a whole but actually by and for multinationals that feed on our assumed need to fulfill predestined roles as men and women. I had to check the date of this book more than once because the issues as still relevant and as pressing as ever. Yep, this book was written before I was born.
The feminist-utopian future presented here reminded me of another series of feminist sci-fi from the 70s--The Slave and the Free by Suzy McKee Charnas which also depicts the future as two societies that function as exact opposites of the gender-as-dichotomous idea though simultaneously.
Thank you for suggesting this book! I'm so glad I read it!

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