A lost feminist masterwork by feminist and speculative fiction icon, Joanna Russ, about a young lesbian’s coming-to-consciousness during the social upheaval of the 1970s.
When Esther, a recently divorced professor, has her first lesbian love affair, the fallout brings her everyday miseries into focus and precipitates a personal crisis. She flees her small, upstate New York college town, grapples with gender confusion and the ghosts of therapists past, and fumbles her way through comedic sexual self-discovery, oscillating all the while between visionary confidence and debilitating self-doubt. Confronted with the homophobia of straight feminists and the misogyny of gay men, Esther is left to forge a language for her feminism and her burgeoning lesbian desire. On Strike Against God is quintessentially Russ: experimental but accessible, alternately wry and earnest, poignantly didactic, playful, and emotionally charged.
This new critical edition of On Strike Against God includes additional materials from Russ’s archive. An introduction by Russ scholar Alec Pollak opens the edition, and essays by contemporary writers Jeanne Thornton and Amal El-Mohtar grapple with Russ’s enduring influence on feminist authors today.