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Elison, Meg

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1982-    ) US author whose first novel was The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (2014), a particularly grim Dystopia whose precipitating Disaster is the rapid onslaught of an autoimmune disease that kills most men and almost all women and children. The Post-Holocaust USA into which the title character awakens (after surviving her own illness) has all the worst excesses of Survivalist Fiction, with women hunted, raped, brutalized and sold as chattel slaves (see Slavery) against a background of lawlessness and rampant violence. Travelling in male disguise, the unnamed bisexual protagonist does what she can to help women avoid pregnancy or, if pregnant, survive the now all too frequent stillbirths. The effect is harrowing and powerfully Feminist; The Book of the Unnamed Midwife won the Philip K Dick Award. It opens the Road to Nowhere sequence which continues in The Book of Etta (2017) and The Book of Flora (2019). Along with reprinted stories, Big Girl Plus the Pill Plus Such People in It and Much More (coll 2020) contains a strong novelette, "The Pill", about a weight-loss Drug whose side-effects are savagely destructive; this won a Locus Award as best novelette. [DRL]

Meg Elison

born California: 10 May 1982



The Road to Nowhere



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