Threefer: three novels by amazing writers Leni Zumas, Lidia Yukanavitch and Jeannette Winterson

Three for one today.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

I’ve read three recent novels by women pondering the important question of science and gender. It seems the basic reason that the sociologies of gender and science intersecting matters is this: that intersection is what foregrounds the historical and contemporary controversy about what it means to have ‘life.’

Yes, Life. Yes, it’s controversial.

Leni Zumas’ Red Clocks, narrating the lives of women who are living in a society where abortion is a crime, asks, ‘What is a woman for’? Guess the answer.

Lidia Yukanavitch’s The Book of Joan asks what Joan of Arc would have fought for today were she alive? Guess the answer.

And finally Jeanette Winterson’s Frankisstein asks what Mary Shelley who published Frankenstein in 1818 would have obsessed over today. Guess?

And in your guess don’t forget that each book is written by that singular specimen of the species: the female. And what does that have to do with science, gender and life?

I’ll give one clue because I really like you, reader, and I’d really like to hear from you. Here it is: Only women can have babies. Now I wait for your guesses.

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