Monday, February 14, 2011
As a teen I read quite a bit of sci-fi and Sheri Tepper was one of my favorite writers. I first discovered her writing when I picked up her novel BEAUTY at a used book store (The Green Dragon in Wichita, KS) and fell in love with it. THE GATE TO WOMEN'S COUNTRY was probably one of the first dystopian books I ever read and though it's pretty hazy by now in my memory, I do know that I enjoyed it immensely.
The story is this: 300 years after a nuclear holocaust, Stavia lives in the matriarchal dictatorship called Women's Country. Here, in a desperate effort to prevent another world war, the women have segregated most men into closed military garrisons and have taken on themselves every other function of government, industry, agriculture, science and learning. Stavia's son has reached the age where he can make the decision to become a warrior and live outside the community, cut off from her, or to serve the women in a peaceful capacity.
Tepper is a very feminist writer and discusses such topics as the causes of human violence and eugenics. Definitely worth a read or a reread!