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To Write Like a Woman: Essays in Feminism and Science Fiction (1995)

av Joanna Russ

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1554129,975 (4.04)3
To Write Like a Woman is a rare example of a feminist tackling science fictuion using postmodern theory, which makes for a much more sophisticated and nuanced appraisal than the usual fare." --Passion Russ' essays are witty and insightful. An excellent book for any writer or reader." --Feminist Bookstore News In her new book of essays... Russ continues to debunk and demand, edify and entertain.... Appreciative of surface aesthetics, she continually delves deeper than most critics, yet in terms so simple and accessible that her essays read like lively, angry, humorous dialogues conducted face-to-face with the author. Russ is the antithesis of the distant critic in her ivory tower." --Paul Di Filippo, The Washington Post Book World ... 20 years of the author's feisty reports from the front lines of literature." --The San Francisco Review of Books This is a book of imaginative and provoking essays, but you should read it for the sheer fun of it." --The Women's Review of Books Collects more than two decades of criticism by Joanna Russ, one of the most perceptive, forthright and eloquent feminist commentators around." --Feminist Bookstore News ... a super book....This is a book that, for once, really will appeal to readers of all kinds." --Utopian Studies If you enjoy science fiction, this is definitely a book that you'll want to talk about. I found myself sneaking a few pages at times when I really didn't have time to read." --Jan Catano, Atlantis Classic essays on science fiction and feminism by Nebula and Hugo award-winning Joanna Russ. Here she ranges from a consideration of the aesthetic of science fiction to a reading of the lesbian identity of Willa Cather. To Write Like a Woman includes essays on horror stories and the supernatural, feminist utopias, popular literature for women (the "modern gothic"), and the feminist education of graduate students in English.… (mer)

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Russ's collection of essays is a wonderful read, and still strongly resonates today. I wish I had this in the 1970s and 80s when I was growing up and an avid consumer of scifi, but then again, maybe I wouldn't have been ready yet to hear some of the truths she was speaking about sexism and racism.

I enjoyed her harsh, yet honest, take down of Star Wars in her "SF and Technology as Mystification" essay (1978, pp. 26-40). This essay is followed in the collection by another one that is great but also so sad: "Amor Vincit Foeminam: The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction" (1980). Russ just kept getting more incisive, skewering sexism in film with her essay "A Boy and His Dog: The Final Solution" (1975, pp. 65-76). I wanted to quote from this essay but I realized I highlighted almost the entire thing. Find it, read it, learn it.

This is followed by another essay that was written in 1971, published in '72 and certainly relevant in 2020, especially with the Black Lives Matter, MeToo, and other movements. Russ's essay, "What Can a Heroine Do? or Why Women Can't Write" is so powerful. She looks at what are women and people of color "allowed" to write in a white male-dominated and white male-centered world.

I originally found this collection of essays due to her piece on the modern gothic romance. In an essay titled "Somebody's Trying to Kill Me and I Think It's My Husband: The Modern Gothic", Russ delves into the world imagined by these types of novels. Instead of empowering readers, mostly women, it seeks to subvert them and keep them in a idealized (by white males) world where they happily embrace their otherness and second-class status.

I really enjoyed this collection and am pleased that it is still relevant and still available. The battles are fought, some are lost, some are won, but the "war" is still not settled. ( )
  drew_asson | Sep 13, 2020 |
This is the one with the idea of science fiction as written in the subjunctive mood. ( )
  cricketbats | Apr 18, 2013 |
One of those books which I felt I needed to read, having seen it referenced so often, and am pleased to have read now, but about which I can say nothing of particular importance. ( )
  Murphy-Jacobs | Mar 30, 2013 |
I'd recommend this book to women writers, and I'd recommend particular essays to particular people, no matter what genre they write. All women should read "What Can a Heroine Do? or Why Women Can’t Write" and women writing mainstream fiction, women's fiction, romance, or women's mystery (you get the picture), should read "Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me and I think it’s My Husband: The Modern Gothic". I don't know if these essays can be found in other sources aside from this book, so check out your local libraries, used bookstores, or check around online. It's amazing what you'll find.

And no, I wouldn't NOT recommend this book to male writers. If you're a guy and want to read this? Especially if you write SF? Do it. It'd be interesting, I think, solely for its different point of view. Meaning: you may not agree with everything said, but it'll give you some good food for thought.

For a full review, just click here: http://calico-reaction.livejournal.com/7086.html ( )
  devilwrites | Apr 28, 2007 |
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To Write Like a Woman is a rare example of a feminist tackling science fictuion using postmodern theory, which makes for a much more sophisticated and nuanced appraisal than the usual fare." --Passion Russ' essays are witty and insightful. An excellent book for any writer or reader." --Feminist Bookstore News In her new book of essays... Russ continues to debunk and demand, edify and entertain.... Appreciative of surface aesthetics, she continually delves deeper than most critics, yet in terms so simple and accessible that her essays read like lively, angry, humorous dialogues conducted face-to-face with the author. Russ is the antithesis of the distant critic in her ivory tower." --Paul Di Filippo, The Washington Post Book World ... 20 years of the author's feisty reports from the front lines of literature." --The San Francisco Review of Books This is a book of imaginative and provoking essays, but you should read it for the sheer fun of it." --The Women's Review of Books Collects more than two decades of criticism by Joanna Russ, one of the most perceptive, forthright and eloquent feminist commentators around." --Feminist Bookstore News ... a super book....This is a book that, for once, really will appeal to readers of all kinds." --Utopian Studies If you enjoy science fiction, this is definitely a book that you'll want to talk about. I found myself sneaking a few pages at times when I really didn't have time to read." --Jan Catano, Atlantis Classic essays on science fiction and feminism by Nebula and Hugo award-winning Joanna Russ. Here she ranges from a consideration of the aesthetic of science fiction to a reading of the lesbian identity of Willa Cather. To Write Like a Woman includes essays on horror stories and the supernatural, feminist utopias, popular literature for women (the "modern gothic"), and the feminist education of graduate students in English.

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