On Strike Against God
A Love Story
A radical novel of love, gender, and being seen for who you are from the groundbreaking author of The Female Man.
Meet Esther, an English professor. Since her divorce more than a decade ago, she has lived in a kind of limbo—a sexless, cold, and self-contained existence. Though surrounded by so-called intellectuals, she is still boxed into life according to her gender, expected to defer to her male colleagues and mocked for her feminist beliefs.
But when Esther’s feelings for her friend Jean take a turn from the platonic to the passionate, a new world opens up before her. Lost in a tumult of lust and happiness, she is unprepared for the patriarchal voices in her own head that threaten to derail her newfound freedom. Societal chaos would ensue if she were to follow her heart. It would open the floodgates to boys wearing pink! And girls, blue! How would the world survive?
In On Strike Against God, Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author Joanna Russ turns from science fiction to 1970s small-town life, where desire simmers in the shadows, rebellion is taking root, and humor becomes a weapon against the status quo.
“An engrossing, darkly funny, and genre-defying classic. Russ’s voice is raw and unfiltered here, delivering the same ironic humor, wry wit, and devastating insight into messy human conceptions of gender and sexuality that permeate her science fiction work. Perfect for fans of Kelly Link and Carmen Maria Machado.” —Kameron Hurley, author of The Light Brigade
“A master of putting the truth in fiction, from her SF to her realist work, and On Strike Against God is filled to the brim with honesty.” —Tor.com
Praise for Joanna Russ
“She was brilliant in a way that couldn’t be denied. . . . She was here to imagine, to invent wildly, and to undo the process, as one of her heroines puts it, of ‘learning to despise one’s self.’” —The New Yorker