The Female Man, Paperback
1 out of 5 (1 rating)


A landmark book in the fields of science fiction and feminism. Four women living in parallel worlds, each with a different gender landscape.

When they begin to travel to each other's worlds each woman's preconceptions on gender and what it means to be a woman are challenged. Acclaimed as one of the essential works of science fiction and an influence on William Gibson, THE FEMALE MAN takes a look at gender roles in society and remains a work of great power.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Science fiction
  • ISBN: 9780575094994



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The Female Man by Joanna Russ – Disappointing I wanted to like this book, I really did. I have a special interest in sci-fi written by women, and I was vaguely surprised that I had never read any of Joanna Russ’s books before. So I was looking forward to reading it with pleasurable anticipation.However, I was really disappointed, and gave up about half way through. (I won’t summarise the plot here, as that has been done exceedingly well in another review – so will move quickly on to my own personal responses to the book). For a start, I found the writing style exceedingly difficult to get on with; quite a lot of the time it’s hard to tell who is talking (or being narrated), but more importantly, there’s no clear connection between different parts. And so, because you can’t work out who is talking, or why they are saying/doing what they are, you can’t get to know and understand the characters. What’s more, there’s nothing even remotely resembling a plot (not that I found, anyway)!Yes, it’s true that there are sections of dialogue which are witty and satirical – it was these that kept me reading as far as I did get. And yes, I suppose it is ideologically interesting, but there’s far too much pontificating about male behaviour – or at least the author’s idea of it, which I thought was overly stereotyped (yes, I know she is making a point, but I think she is too heavy handed about it).All in all, I found this book to be bewildering and uncoordinated. For me it didn’t work either as science fiction, or as “women’s literature”.

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