Woman on the Edge of Time, Paperback

Woman on the Edge of Time Paperback

Part of the A Women's Press classic series

4.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


First published in 1979, Marge Piercy's novel is both a drama of survival and a Utopian epic.

Connie Ramos, 37, Mexican-American and unfairly incarcerated in a mental hospital, is the enduring central character in a book about differing visions of the future.




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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

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What is real? What is the future? What is the role of women and poverty in our society? Woman on the Edge of Time was written in the 70s and tells the tale of Connie, a Latino woman who lives in what today would be called the 'hood'. She's on welfare, her daughter was taken away by case workers, and her niece is a whore fighting with her pimp. In trying to help her niece, Connie lands herself in a mental hospital where she starts getting visits from Luciente, a woman who claims to be from the future.Those who read a lot of sci-fi may find Woman on the Edge of Time dated and typical, but I genuinely enjoyed descriptions of the future that Luciente shows Connie. It's a utopia without any gender roles or poverty, where everybody gathers in tightly knit communities to share means of production, and where children are born from test tubes but have three mothers ( male or female) in order to break the bonds of heteronormativity. Piercy has a skill for world-building, but it's also her curse because it made the non-sci-fi parts of her novel less interesting. And Connie as a character seemed overly forced in her actions and responses, as if Piercy was trying to make her represent an idea rather than a person.

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Is she mad or is she really travelling to a future society? A classic feminist sci-fi.

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Influenced my work. Utopia and Dystopia all in one story.

Review by

The narrator, Connie, is wrongly committed to a mental institution but escapes (whether really or only by way of an extended fantasy of escape) to a utopian future world. The utopian vision may be problematic in some ways (that's the problem with utopias) but this is a masterful piece of work. Reminiscent of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, but much, much better.

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