Sunday, June 9, 2024

On Strike Against God--And In Print Again!



Look what came in the mail! Joanna Russ's brilliant On Strike Against God is back in print again. This is reason to rejoice. 

Most of Joanna's fans aren't aware of this book because it's not science fiction. It's a highly figurative mainstream feminist lesbian novel which was written immediately after The Female Man and because it's a highly figurative feminist lesbian novel, none of the major publishers would touch it. Despite the fact that Samuel R. Delany thinks that it's Joanna's best novel

Why? Well, I could gush about the prose, the writing, the brilliance, but instead I'll just quote a brief but typical passage. Esther, the protagonist is enduring a difficult but typical date when the man in question leans forward and says:

"You're strange creatures, you women intellectuals. Tell me: What's it like to be a woman?"

I took my rifle from behind my chair and shot him. "It's like that," I said. No, of course I didn't.

Now either you find that simultaneously horrific and laugh-out-loud funny or you don't. If you don't, well... Horseman, pass by. But if you do, I can assure you that On Strike Against God is a joy and a delight. 

You can pre-order it from The Feminist Press here. This volume includes several essays about the book, correspondence with Marilyn Hacker, an interview with Samuel R. Delany, and two essays on related matters by Joana herself. Joanna was a brilliant essayist. Her non-fiction crackled with ideas. If you doubt me, go to Interlibrary Loan and request a copy of How to Suppress Women's Writing. You won't regret it.


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