To Write Like a Woman by Joanna Russ
To Write Like a Woman: Essays in Feminism and Science Fiction by Joanna Russ
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am picking this book because it shook me up when I read it, and tapped into angers I had myself, and just pounded at the part of my head that preferred not to see the real extent to which women’s writing has been shoved into the periphery. Read it at a time when I was hopeful that things were changing. Well, I will let that sentence stand even though it’s not strictly true that I have ever hoped that things were changing, not fully. But now and then I see the signs. I have recommended this book to my students, most of whom were women, hoping they would see their own fiction differently – especially the ones who write about male characters because they see males as the true actors in life. Reactions have been all over the place, which is what Russ usually evoked, I think. This is a book that is useful in so many ways; her thinking about science fiction is searing and on point. Her novels are stunning. I’ve had a couple of wonderful discussions about them with people who really matter to me. I want to say she wrote exactly as she pleased but I think she would spit at me for saying that; she was never allowed the room to do all that she wanted, and died much too soon. Such a force.