"The power" of Naomi Alderman is a feminist science fiction novel full of political, social, and internal tensions that we should all read
What is it about?
"Power" is a science fiction novel by one of the most prominent voices in British literature today. The play tells the story of a world in which women discover that they have the ability to control electricity and revolves around four characters: Roxy, Tunde, Margot, and Ally.
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At the beginning of the narration they find themselves in different places, their lives are also very different, but little by little their stories will be intertwined. As the work progresses, the world will also change as consequences of that power that resides in women. Roles are reversed, women are no longer the "weaker sex", they are not afraid, they are more powerful.
It is precisely that power that will create new tensions between the characters and in this new world. At first women will only seek their freedom and that is how a revolution begins in Saudi Arabia, which will spread to other parts of the world. However, with the passage of time that power will corrupt them, leaving only chaos in its path.
Thus, conflicts will escalate until they reach the great climax of the book: a looming war. In the middle of all this, there are these the protagonists. They are configured in this universe as key characters that will help establish this new world regardless of the price.
Who wrote it?
Naomi Alderman is a writer born in London in 1974, whose work is as outstanding as it is varied. According to her website, she participated in the creation of Zombies, Run! and in other video games. Alderman has presented programs for BBC Radio 4 and has written for The Guardian. How to forget her career as a novelist that has earned her several awards.
In 2006, for example, she was awarded the Orange Prize for her first work "Disobedience". This was published that same year and is perhaps one of his most outstanding novels. Not only has it been translated IGNORE INTO 10 languages, but it was also brought to the big screen by Chilean director Sebastián Lelio. The world premiere of the film was in 2017, within the framework of the Toronto International Film Festival.
In 2007, the British author was again awarded, this time by the Sunday Times, with the Young Writer of the Year Award. In 2010, she would publish her second novel, "The Lessons", and two years later "The Liar's Gospel" would arrive. Her most recent work is "The Power" (The Power), which was published in 2016. She won, one year later, the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction for the best novel of the year.
Should I read it or not?
"Power" is one of those novels that hook you from the first paragraph. It is electrifying, as the Canadian writer and Alderman's literary godmother, Margaret Atwood, very well said.
It is heartbreaking and full of political and social tensions, as well as internal tensions in each of the characters. It is a very powerful exploration of power and its structures, as well as the human condition. She also reflects on gender, a theme around which a whole social critique is built.
The latter is very important, because Alderman will create through language a whole role play, in which she will put men in a position in which many women are. Harassment, persecution, and violence against men will be increasingly common.
In the midst of all this, the woman will rise, which will be seen as a divine figure or will be demonized, will be creation and at the same time destruction. Like the language itself, this is a work in which you will find many symbols and signs, so you have to see it beyond the tip of the iceberg that Hemingway talks about.
The chapters are not very long and they always leave you wanting for more. The most interesting thing is that at the end the work leaves you in the most important point of the narrative, in the climatic moment, which is never resolved. Without a doubt, this is a feminist science fiction story that we should all read.
LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal
Translated from “Latam BookLook: "El poder" de Naomi Alderman”
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