A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2017
" The Power is our era's The Handmaid's Tale ." --Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Novels based on premises like the one at the core of The Power can quickly become little more than thought experiments, but Alderman dodges this trap deftly -- her writing is beautiful, and her intelligence seems almost limitless. Read more...
A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2017
"The Power is our era's The Handmaid's Tale." --Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Novels based on premises like the one at the core of The Power can quickly become little more than thought experiments, but Alderman dodges this trap deftly -- her writing is beautiful, and her intelligence seems almost limitless. She also has a pitch-dark sense of humor that she wields perfectly." --Michael Schaub, NPR
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
An Amazon Best Book of 2017
**WINNER OF THE 2017 BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION** What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power? In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, THE POWER is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.
- ISBN-13: 9780316547611
- ISBN-10: 0316547611
- Publisher: Little Brown and Company
- Publish Date: October 2017
- Page Count: 400
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Utopia or dystopia?
If the best speculative fiction offers up new ways to see our culture, then Naomi Alderman’s The Power (winner of the U.K.’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction) is destined to be a classic. Imagine a world where women are physically more powerful than men. Then just when you are comfortable with that—or maybe think, hey, it’s about time—imagine everything that could go wrong.
The Power tells the disconcerting story of what occurs after a genetic mutation gives teenage girls the power of electricity. At first, they just shock each other for fun, but they quickly learn to harness it, first to protect themselves, then to maim or even kill. The power is transmitted to older women, and eventually, all baby girls are born with a so-called skein of electricity that runs beneath their collarbones like an extra muscle.
Alderman explores the power’s trajectory through the lives of three women: Roxy, the daughter of a British mobster; Margot, an American mayor with political aspirations; and finally Mother Eve. Raised in a series of foster homes, Eve, born Alison, uses the power to free herself from an abusive stepfather and reinvents herself as the charismatic matriarch of a female-centric religion. A young Nigerian photojournalist, Tunde, follows the power from country to country, risking his life and offering the important perspective of an outsider.
Speculative fiction has long been a genre where gender roles can be explored—think of The Handmaid’s Tale or even back to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland. But Alderman goes beyond her predecessors with a narrative that wonders how long before absolute power corrupts absolutely. Alderman is both a novelist and a co-creator of a smartphone audio adventure app called Zombies, Run!, and it may be this expertise in the world of gaming that brings such a fearlessly creative approach to her storytelling. Both a page-turning thriller and timely exploration of gender roles, censorship and repressive political regimes, The Power is a must-read for today’s times.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Naomi Alderman for The Power.