Thursday, June 21, 2018

Five top books about motherhood and dystopia

Siobhan Adcock is the author of the novels The Barter and The Completionist. One of five top books about motherhood and dystopia she tagged at
The Children of Men by P.D. James

It’s been twenty years since a human child has been born, and humanity lives in terror of its own extinction, fetishizing a memory of motherhood and babies. Meanwhile, an authoritarian government ruthlessly redistributes resources and strips away basic freedoms. The action in a dystopian novel often kicks off with a miracle that threatens to upend the “new normal,” and in P.D. James’s trenchant 1992 bestseller (which inspired the very different—but still exciting—2006 Alfonso Cuaron film of the same name), it’s the revelation that a woman might actually be pregnant. This secret pulls Theo, a disillusioned academic, into a dangerous scheme to help a dissident group protect the mother-to-be—ultimately by exposing her. The brilliant premise and the heartbreakingly hopeful finish have made this the other classic dystopian novel of motherhood, on the shelf right next to Atwood’s.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Children of Men is on M.R. Carey's list of five favorite apocalyptic novels, Jeff Somers's top ten list of books with plausible fictional apocalypses, Justin Cronin's list of ten top world-ending novels, Anita Singh's list of five P.D. James novels you should read, Torie Bosch's top twelve list of great pandemic novels, Joel Cunningham's list of eleven scary fictional diseases, John Mullan's list of the ten most notable New Years in literature, Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders's list of the twelve most unfaithful movie versions of science fiction and fantasy books, Ben H. Winters' list of three books to read before the end of the world, and John Sutherland's list of the five best books about the end of England.

--Marshal Zeringue