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Woman on the Edge of Time Mass Market Paperback – Nov 12 1985

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reissue edition (Nov. 12 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449210820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449210826
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #141,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman on May 30 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I could NOT put this one down from page one. "Woman on the Edge of Time" is a heartrending novel, written with exceptional skill by Marge Piercy, a celebrated American author who wrote this so-called utopian novel and was a major literary figure in the 70's.
In this novel, Consuelo (Connie) has an abusive family who imprison her in a mental hospital. She is treated with incredible brutality, her life is discounted to the level of dumpster garbage. But Connie is far from insane--despite the fact she thinks she can time-travel.
Connie visits Massapoisset, Massachusetts in the future via a kind of mental holographic sending-receiving abilities of a local resident there, Luciente. Life in the future is idyllic, though not perfect, and Connie develops relationships with people in the Cape Cod village. But life in the mental ward becomes increasingly dangerous. Connie has to make some difficult choices to survive.
What I like best about this novel, in addition to the style which is nearly perfect, is that there are levels to the story. If you look at the events in one light, you could come to an entirely different conclusion about Connie's sanity.
I absolutely recommend you read this book--and I am putting it on my "100 best American Novels" list. If you like Margaret Atwood ("Handmaid's Tale) you will likely enjoy "Woman on the Edge of Time."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barb Caffrey on Sept. 10 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Woman on the Edge of Time" is an excellent read. Marge Piercy did an outstanding job with this book; it was written in the 1970s, and does not appear dated. The themes are universal; how does anyone live with hopelessness and despair when their back is against the wall? And, can love win out over hate?
I'm not doing Ms. Piercy's book justice; there aren't any words to describe how profoundly meaningful this book is about those universal themes.
As for the plot, Connie Ramos is in her mid-30s, has had mental problems in the past, had her daughter taken away from her due to Connie's having gone through a rough patch in her life (her partner died and no one cared about it but her; she acted out and did drugs, which caused her to mistreat her daughter). No one seems to care about Connie; she's lost her looks, she has no money, and even her favorite people mostly just ignore her.
What astonishes me about Connie and her plight is that she is intelligent. She had some college, yet no one that deals with her ever considers her intelligent _or_ educated. And that's stupid; really, why didn't her welfare caseworker say, "Oh, Connie, you have a year or two of college. Would you like to be re-trained?" In real life, this might have happened.
However, this _is_ a fable; that can be overlooked. Besides, the social services in the 1970s in New York were terrible; they rivaled the situation that New York faces today after the terrorist attacks. There are too many people; it's very easy to get lost in the cracks. So this isn't a plot hole at all; it's a statement about how good people often get downtrodden through no fault of their own.
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Format: Paperback
I was sadly disappointed with this book. I had seen this book several times listed as an essential part of the feminist sci-fi and utopia/dystopia genres. It may be that, but if so, it is certainly no more than that. If you''re not an avid follower of these genres, don''t bother with this book. Like the other unfortunate classic, Herland, this book largely reads as an essay clumsily couched as a novel. The characters have little depth, the scenarios are thinly portrayed and highly stereotyped: all current-day scientists and medical practitioners are portrayed as domineering, power-hungry, lost people without an ounce of compassion, while the eco-friendly, sexually-open, commune-dwellers of the future offer the contrast of glossy perfection. In fact, I found this book particularly frustrating because I actually found the conceived future-society quite appealing, in principle, and very much *wanted* to like this book. But the incessant preaching and the simplicity of the portrayal left me largely unmoved. In the hands of a more skillful and subtle writer, this book might have deserved the status it has, somehow, achieved.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Marge wrote this book in the glow of the radicalization of the 1960s and 1970s. How light what she talks about seemed then, and how needed does this seem now. Right now the people who frame the discourses, own everything, buy the politicans, and do stealing and murder on an international basis, try to convince working people, people with a heart, people around the world that their choices are the only choices. In this book we find that so many of the limitations of our society can be sweetly transcended, whether we are talking about race, sex, money, adults children. This is not a dreamers book, but a book that talks about how life could simply be truly human with what we know, with what we can do, when the choices aren't dictated by patriarchy, when the choices aren't dictated by capitalism, when the choices are dictated by biollionaire liars, by men elected to presidencies who flew around in planes owned by Emron. Morever, consistent with every sentence Marge ever wrote, including things I think are just plain wrong, is a simple unromanticized, gut understanding that human beings are better than all the crap thrown at it and we will perserve, we will build a world worthy of the grandeur of life.
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