Posts Tagged With: Andrea Hairston

“‘Tis not right, a woman going into such places by herself.”* – A Book List

As promised, here’s the list of books containing older women as important characters that my friends and I came up with on Twitter a couple weeks ago. Clicking on the photos will take you to the book’s Amazon page.

Thanks to @grumpymartian, @whateversusan, @chrysoula, @AthenaHelivoy, @JustinSRobinson, @byharryconnolly, @LJLietya, @KateElliottSFF, and @clundoff for chiming in!

Mindscape Mindscape, Andrea Hairston: an older woman gets the action going; another older woman has a hand in trying to destroy what the first set out to accomplish.
The first four books of the Deverry series, Katharine Kerr: I didn’t get any details on this one. Deverry
Crown of Stars Crown of Stars series, Kate Elliott: “One of the POVs … is a scholar who is about 50. She’s technically a secondary POV.”-@KateElliottSFF
Silver Moon, Catherine Lundoff: main character becomes a werewolf as part of menopause at 50.  silver moon
 paladin Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold: the main character is in her 40s/50s, possibly late 30s (there was some discussion about this).
The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle: Molly Grue and Mommy Fortuna  last unicorn
175px-CherryhDownbelowStation20thAnnCover Downbelow Station, C.J. Cherryh: I’m not sure of her age, but as commander of an interstellar battleship, Signy Mallory must be a mature woman, close in age to Captain Janeway.
Tehanu, Ursula K. Le Guin: the main character is Tenar, a woman who has aged through the Earthsea series and is now middle-aged.  tehanu
throne Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed: “majority of characters are older”-@grumpymartian
The Day Before the Revolution (from the short story collection The Wind’s Twelve Quarters), Ursula K. Le Guin: the protagonist from The Dispossessed returns as a much older woman. twelve
Swan Song Swan Song, Robert R. McCammon: “mostly the older characters tell the story”-@grumpymartian

Another book was brought up in our conversation that hasn’t been published yet: The Great Way, an epic fantasy trilogy by Harry Connolly. It’ll be out later this year.

And, to finish up, these are the Discworld books that involve Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. To quote Wikipedia:

[Weatherwax] has starred in six Discworld novels (Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords and Ladies, Maskerade and Carpe Jugulum), has appeared briefly in Wee Free Men, acted as a significant supporting character in A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and I Shall Wear Midnight, and was referenced in three other Discworld books (by name in Mort, and anonymously in Thief of Time as well as Going Postal). She also appeared in the short story “The Sea and Little Fishes” and in The Science of Discworld II: The Globe.

Nanny Ogg appears in the same Discworld novels as Granny W., as well as the short story “The Sea and Little Fishes.” She also makes a cameo appearance in Thief of Time. Have you read any of these? Are there others you’d recommend? Let us know!

*–Granny Weatherwax, Wyrd Sisters (Terry Pratchett)

Categories: Blog Tour, Random Linkroll, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mindscape by Andrea Hairston – A Review

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Mindscape

In my last WOGF reading challenge review, I remarked on how one of the main points of Native Tongue gets bogged down amidst all the other plot threads Suzette Haden Elgin tries to bring together. That point being the attempt of a group of women Linguists to create their own language, a necessary thing given their oppression. Andrea Hairston brings up a similar point in her 2006 debut novel Mindscape and does so in one sharply written paragraph–one amongst many.

All the thugs is laughin’ at me, but I don’t go off. I take a deep breath, work calm in my center, like Ray Valero do to act. Ethnic throwbacks be like the ole Israelis bringin’ back Hebrew after two thousand years, after so many words was fightin’ against ’em. Why anybody wanna speak the truth, raise they children, know themselves with gas chamber language? Survival be havin’ words to call home, havin’ idioms and syntax to heal the Diaspora. In your cultural rhythm and rhyme, that’s where the soul keep time. — Lawanda Kitt, p. 51

The rest of Mindscape is like that: a lot of heavy things said that, at least to me, doesn’t get lost in a stew of wobbly prose.

Mindscape is a complex tale of a future Earth dealing with the aftermath of the invasion of some sort of alien/magical barrier that has cut the planet into several regions that can no longer interact with each other except for when seasonal corridors open up in the Barrier. All of these regions are constantly at war until a seer/prophet/something named Celestina convinces everyone to sign a peace treaty, ushering in a new era, presumably. She is then assassinated.

So much for the prologue.

The rest of the book concerns the aftermath of the treaty signing. Like I said, it’s complex and Hairston leads us through with the help of five perspectives: Elleni, Celestina’s spirit-daughter who might not be completely human; Lawanda Kitt, an ambassador called upon to interact with the rulers of a rival region; The Major, a man of mixed loyalties, one of which is Lawanda; Ray Valero, a celebrated actor who finds himself in the position of having to be a real hero; and Aaron Dunkelbrot, an entertainment producer with an interesting past.

Through these five people, Hairston shows us a dystopian world where epidemics rage, poor people who don’t have the “right” appearance become Extras in snuff films, “ethnic throwbacks” fight to not be disappeared while gene-art mutations flourish, and a chosen few try to communicate with the Barrier to figure out its plans.

I enjoyed Mindscape quite a bit. Hairston’s prose is delightful and her characters are strong and interesting. The story carried me right along, and her insights into race and culture never felt preachy or heavyhanded. My only complaint might be that the ending felt a little rushed with a ton of plot threads coming together all at once. It’s a minor complaint, though, and I’m looking forward to reading her novel from 2011, Redwood and Wildfire. 4.85/5

Categories: Books/Authors, Women | Tags: , , , , , ,

Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge

wogf_250I don’t normally do reading challenges. Not that I’m all superior to them or anything. I just hate taking on obligations I may not be able to meet. That, and, well yeah, I’ll read what I want when I want, thanks very much, is usually how I feel.

That said, this year’s challenge from Worlds Without End caught my eye on Sunday, and I decided to sign on. That challenge is to read 12 books by 12 women genre authors in 12 months. Looking over the list of possibilities, it reminded me that there is still so much to read, and I hadn’t read as many authors on the list as I wish I had.

Time to amend that.

Although for me, it’s going to be 12 books in 6 months, because of the whole just discovering this two days ago thing. Fortunately, I read fairly quickly.

The other aspect of this challenge is that I have to review all 12 of those books. Blog post material!

Here’s what I’m going to read (Note that I’ve not read any of these books before and I made it a point to choose authors I haven’t read before either, for the most part.):

I’m actually excited to read all of these, not just the ones I commented on. And the first one’s already done; just need to write the review. Oh, Victor.

What do you think of reading challenges in general and this one in particular? Are there books by the authors above you think are better? (I can change what I’m reading any time.)

Categories: Books/Authors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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