recommendations wanted

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Thu Nov 14 12:10:12 EST 2002

Robyn wrote:

> I have just found out I am teaching a high school catch up course next
> semester. One of the requirements is a selection of short stories of my
> choice. I would really like to include a *good*, feminist or at least by a
> woman, fantasy story.

We have to recommend DWJ on this list, don't we!  She's usually far too subtle
to write anything I'd describe as a "feminist" story; "The True State of
Affairs" is probably closest, but I'd imagine it's too long for your purposes.

"The Master" isn't _about_ feminist issues, but it does explore some - (can't
remember his name)'s misconceptions about how he can relate to the protagonist
are coloured by gender issues, for a start.

I agree that "Dragon Reserve, Home Eight" could be suitable, with the
matriarchial and polyandrous (is that the word) background, and the way it
explores issues that spring from this: paternity, the options open to a boy
(something she returned to in "Sudden Wild Magic"...)

Some feminist issues are also explored in "Carruthers" - the male-chauvinist
father and the way the girls cope; the relationship between the girls and the
boy cousins.  This may be a good one to teach from, because the girls are coming
at these issues from a young perspective, and we see them forming their own
opinions as they grow up in the chauvinistic environment.

Non-DWJ, I'm sure that Ursula Le Guin has written plenty of suitable stories.
There's one about king Argaven (who is from a world of hermaphrodites, on which
she - UKLG - later set a novel).  In its later (anthologised, post the novel)
version it doesn't half explore gender issues!  But my mind is a complete blank
as regards titles - can anyone else help?

Hope this helps.

Philip (who doesn't consider there's anything intrinsically feminist in
exploring gender issues, even from a woman's point of view...)

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