Another book recommendation to like-minded folks of The Watch community!
A frustrating and unexpected sick day found me binge-reading two incredible novels of post-apocalyptic fiction featuring strong female leads.
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife and its sequel, The Book of Etta, scratched a very particular itch that I am VERY rarely able to reach: the post-apocalypse genre not only from the perspective of women but very explicitly addressing, dissecting, and expressing issues of sexuality, gender identity, reproductive rights, patriarchy/matriarchy and so on. Both books deal with a protagonist who assume a male identity “on the road” to protect themselves from predation, but the stories are nowhere near that simple. They made me think constantly of the themes and dramas of The Watch.
They chilled me to the bone, they kept me up all night, I couldn’t put them down. This is the stuff I always dreamed of writing. Fair warning: they are not an easy read. There are unflinching narratives of sexual assault, physical violence, gender violence, and so on (though they are sensitively rather than gratuitously portrayed by the books’ female author, Meg Elison, who I hope writes 100 more books). They are the kind of stories that will probably wake me up months from now at 3 in the morning to check my gun cabinet. They will undoubtedly provoke incredible conversations with any of my Apocalypse World group that I can coax into reading them. Highly recommended.