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The New Narrative

John Kerrigan, 16 February 1984

The Oxford Book of Narrative Verse 
edited by Iona Opie and Peter Opie.
Oxford, 407 pp., £8.95, September 1983, 0 19 214131 7
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Time’s Oriel 
by Kevin Crossley-Holland.
Hutchinson, 61 pp., £4.95, August 1983, 0 09 153291 4
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On Gender and Writing 
edited by Michelene Wandor.
Pandora, 166 pp., £3.95, September 1983, 0 86358 021 1
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Stone, Paper, Knife 
by Marge Piercy.
Pandora, 144 pp., £3.95, September 1983, 9780863580222
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The Achievement of Ted Hughes 
edited by Keith Sagar.
Manchester, 377 pp., £27.50, March 1983, 0 7190 0939 1
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Ted Hughes and Paul Muldoon 
Faber, £6.95, June 1983, 0 571 13090 9Show More
by Ted Hughes and Peter Keen.
Faber, 128 pp., £10, September 1983, 0 571 13088 7
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by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 64 pp., £4, September 1983, 0 571 13117 4
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... a complex coherence at its climax – the problem is engaged impressively. And in the writings of Marge Piercy, the influential American feminist whose poetry is under review here, there’s a similar sensitivity. Already admired in Britain for her novels and polemics, Ms Piercy’s reputation can only be enhanced by ...

Plugs of Muscle

Joanna Kavenna, 5 July 2001

A Friend of the Earth 
by T.C. Boyle.
Bloomsbury, 275 pp., £15.99, October 2000, 9780747547532
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... whole world’s a comic strip now,’ mutters Tierwater – a particularly grim, 2000 ad meets Marge Piercy comic strip. Where once there was open country, bobcats, mule deer, rabbits, quails, foxes, now there are condos: ‘grey wet canyons of them’, housing weird-eyed ‘criminals. Meat eaters. Skin-cancer patients’. The super rich are ...

Making poison

Patrick Parrinder, 20 March 1986

The Handmaid’s Tale 
by Margaret Atwood.
Cape, 324 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 0 224 02348 9
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... to be. After the excitement generated a few years ago by the feminist utopias of Ursula Le Guin, Marge Piercy and Joanna Russ, the appearance of a female dystopia by a writer as eminent as Margaret Atwood will itself be seen as a literary-political event, perhaps even as a breaking of the ranks. Certainly it is not hard to point to the questions left ...

1984 and ‘1984’

Randolph Quirk, 16 February 1984

... in language that angers the feminist Utopian novelists like Esmé Dodderidge, Ursula Le Guin or Marge Piercy. Significantly, on the very first page of 1985, the point is made that nobody can be held responsible: not even for the obstetric maltreatment which has resulted in Bev’s child being moronic: ‘ “Nobody’s fault,” Dr Zazibu had ...

Out of the Gothic

Tom Shippey, 5 February 1987

Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction 
by Brian Aldiss and David Wingrove.
Gollancz, 511 pp., £15, October 1986, 0 575 03942 6
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by Greg Bear.
Gollancz, 504 pp., £10.95, October 1986, 0 575 03861 6
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts 
by Douglas Adams.
Heinemann, 590 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 434 00920 2
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Humpty Dumpty in Oakland 
by Philip K. Dick.
Gollancz, 199 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 575 03875 6
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The Watcher 
by Jane Palmer.
Women’s Press, 177 pp., £2.50, September 1986, 0 7043 4038 0
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I, Vampire 
by Jody Scott.
Women’s Press, 206 pp., £2.50, September 1986, 0 7043 4036 4
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... to rewrite Aldiss’s ‘mankind and his status’ in terms of ‘womankind and her status’, or (Marge Piercy, Fred Pohl) ‘perkind and uz status’. Aldiss soft-pedals feminist Science Fiction, quite rightly, because the best of it – as in the stories of James Tiptree, alias Alice Sheldon, author of ‘The Women Men Don’t See’ – has got past ...

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