‘What we were feeds into the things that will become, and after the last memory of us has faded from the world, it is stone that remains to tell what stories it can.’
Imagine if you were able to visit Paris at different points in time. And what if your actions could change the future, either for the better or the worse…
The story opens with a glimpse of a dark dystopian future where survivors of a devastating war are discussing the possibilities of changing the past. Following this, we shift to the present-day where we are introduced to main character Hallie. She is a British university student spending a gap-year living and working in present-day Paris. As we get to know her via her friends and surroundings, a strange encounter with a Japanese woman changes Hallie’s life. Continue reading
“She was sitting against the wall on the porch, tears trickling from her eyes. Had pain broken the hallucination? She did not care. She hated them, the bland bottleborn monsters of the future, born without pain, multicolored like a litter of puppies without the stigmata of race and sex.” (page 98)
Woman on the Edge of Time is a 1976 science fiction novel by the American poet and writer Marge Piercy. I discovered it via David Pringle’s book Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, An English-Language Selection, 1949-1984. I was surprised to find only seven books by women on that list. Marge Piercy’s novel is listed at number 81. It’s my first experience of her work.
According to wikipedia this novel is ‘considered a classic of utopian “speculative” fiction as well as a feminist classic.’ It tells the story of Consuelo (Connie) Ramos, a thirty-seven-year-old Mexican-American woman with a troubled past involving drugs, abuse and time spent in a psychiatric hospital. We are introduced to her in a violent opening scene involving Connie’s niece and her niece’s pimp.