Feminist dystopian literature is nothing new. Magaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale may have spent weeks on the New York Times bestseller list last year, but it was originally published in 1985. That being said, you might have noticed an uptick in the number of feminist dystopian novels being published over the past year. So get your hands on one of these four if you’re looking to indulge in some interesting new takes on a perennial theme.
1. Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
Image Via USA Today
Cedar lives in a world where evolution is moving backwards. When she is four months pregnant, she embarks on a journey to find her birth mother. Unfortunately, as she searches, she has to protect herself and her child from a government that is trying to hunt down pregnant women. It’ll take everything she’s got to keep them safe, and you’ll be filled with anxiety hoping she can hold out long enough.
2. Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed
Image Via Hachette Book Group
Janey is a seventeen-year-old girl living on an island where the women’s only purpose is as wives and mothers. When they are no longer useful, they die. Life continues as always until little Caitlin Jacob sees something she was never meant to see. Following this, Janey wants to know the truth behind the island, and in her desperation to escape her fate, she tries to lead a whole group of girls into an uprising along with her. The question is whether or not that will actually work.
3. Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
Image Via Little, Brown and Company
This novel tells the story of the lives of five women in a small town in Oregon. The problem is that in-vitro fertilization is banned and abortion illegal. Fertilized eggs have constitutional rights at conception. You’ll have to read the book to discover how they find control over their lives even within the confines of the law. And don’t doubt that they will.
4. The Power by Naomi Alderman
Image Via Bustle
There’s a debate as to whether this is a feminist dystopia or not. In her article for The Guardian, she writes, “Nothing happens to men in the novel – I explain carefully to interviewers – that is not happening to a woman in our world today. So is it dystopian? Well. Only if you’re a man.” That aside, the novel is still feminist in the sense that it is built on the simple premise of a world where women, instead of men, are more powerful.
Featured Image Via HER Magazine