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Mission Child [Paperback]

Maureen Mchugh


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Book Description

Dec 2 1999
Humanity once boldly pushed outward from the Earth to establish colonies throughout the galaxy. But humankind reached too far - overextending, faltering, and ultimately failing - leaving its distant, unremembered settlements to fend for themselves. Now, after many centuries, the progenitors have returned to reclaim their lost territories. A stunning and provocative spiritual odyssey, THE MISSION CHILD is a powerful fable, a stirring adventure and a profoundly moving portrait of a lost woman in search of an identity.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Mission Child is an expansion of Maureen McHugh's "The Cost to Be Wise," a fascinating novella from the original anthology Starlight 1.

Janna's world was colonized long ago by Earth and then left on its own for centuries. When "offworlders" return, their superior technology upsets the balance of a developing civilization. Mission Child follows the journeys of Janna after she and her young partner escape marauders who attack their hometown. The girl, fast becoming mature beyond her years, sets off across the planet on an odyssey of adventure, poverty, hard work, war, famine, and rebirth. Janna uses her meager skills to eke out a living in a changing world; she gains and loses a husband, a child, friends, jobs, and more.

McHugh weaves together anthropology, sociology, psychology, and gender relations in this wondrous journey. Janna assumes the guise of a boy for protection, but eventually becomes "Jan" to herself as well as others. Reminiscent of Ursula K. Le Guin's insightful works set in the Hainish universe, Mission Child will doubtless be nominated for a Tiptree Award for its exploration of Janna's gender identity. --Bonnie Bouman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Issues of gender and humanity infuse this beautifully written saga of a woman's journey of self-recovery. On a distant world, in the far northern reaches, the Hamra clan village is an "appropriate technology" settlement, where the descendants of a long-ago Earth colony live peacefully?until the village is attacked by the marauding Teske clan. The only survivors, teenager Janna and her boyfriend, Aslak, flee across the icy plains, wandering from village to village. Janna becomes pregnant and gives birth to a daughter, who soon dies, as does Aslak. Alone, "Jan of no clan" makes her way to a refugee camp, where, emaciated, she is taken for a boy, a guise she adopts at first for protection, and later because it feels right. Afraid of being found out, Jan moves on to the city of Taufzin, where her ability to speak English attracts a job working for offworlders. Busy, grim, impersonal Taufzin is the opposite of peaceful Hamra; isolated and lonely, Jan falls in love with a criminal, to whom she reveals the secret of her gender. A tragedy ultimately sends Jan to yet another part of the planet, the hot Southern islands; there, though still a foreigner in every way, Jan finds her place in the world. Fans of Ursula Le Guin will find much to admire in McHugh's (China Mountain Zhang; Half the Day Is Night) intelligent, carefully wrought novel of a world that is familiar yet very alien.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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