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1. Gone to Soldiers
2. Sleeping with Cats: A Memoir
3. Woman on the Edge of Time
4. The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems
5. So You Want to Write (2nd Edition):
6. Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age
7. Dance the Eagle to Sleep
8. Braided Lives
9. Small Changes
10. Circles on the Water
11. To Be of Use
12. Stone, Paper, Knife
13. He, She and It
14. The Crooked Inheritance: Poems
15. The Moon is Always Female
16. Three Women: A Novel
17. Longings of Women
18. The Third Child: A Novel
19. Mars And Her Children
20. Vida

1. Gone to Soldiers
by Marge Piercy
Mass Market Paperback: 800 Pages (1988-04-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449215571
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In a stunning tour-de-force, Marge Piercy has woven a tapestry of World War II, of six women and four men, who fought and died, worked and worried, and moved through the dizzying days of the war. A compelling chronicle of humans in conflict with inhuman events, GONE TO SOLIDERS is an unforgettable reading experience and a stirring tribute to the remarkable survival of the human spirit.
"Panoramic...This is a sweeping epic in the best sense."
... Read more

Customer Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read
I read this book in the 80s and it was always one of my favorites.I decided to revisit it to deetermine if I still thought it was as wonderful as I thought it was.A resounding "yes."The characters, the history, the brilliant writing, Marge Piercy's ability to bring so many divergent characters together made it worth reading again.I highly recommend it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Haven't had time yet...
I've had this book for some time now, but in the beginning of it, it didn't grab my attention.I haven't picked it up since, but then again haven't had the time.My sister-in-law recommended this book, so we shall see.But paging through it I don't think it's something I'd want to read really...But I'll give it a try again.

1-0 out of 5 stars I hated this book.
I am surprised people reread this book.The more I read the less I liked this book.I found I did not like any of the characters either. There are better ways to spend your reading time.

5-0 out of 5 stars So good, they can't make a movie of it
This book has to be read more than once to catch all the nuances....great stories, interesting perspective on "regular" folks of the period (hot socialist divorcee authors?Bisexuality?Cloak and Dagger?Jews -vs-Poles in Detroit)...just great writing.I've found this to be the only one of her books I could read, but it's wonderful.

2-0 out of 5 stars If you loved Gone With the Wind
I rarely read sagas, but since several friends recommended this, I gave it a try. Now I remember why I'm usually careful about which ones I read. It doesn't help when many of the characters are just plain not likeable. Oscar and Abra? Eeeeuwww!!!! Daniel and Gloria? Eeeeuwww!!!! Zach and Bernice? Gross!!!! I guess if you think World War II was about desperate people having sex this book is for you. Plus the coincidence of characters crossing was beyond belief. In the context of this being a "serious historical novel" I find that inexcusable.

Some of the historical parts were interesting - Murray (with his nine lives) in the Pacific, Danielle's activities with the French Resistance, the bombings of London.

Years ago I read Herman Wouk's "War and Remembrance" and I remembered that it kept me spellbound. A great, popular WWII saga. For insight into the American experience both and home and abroad try Studs Terkel's "The Good War: An Oral History of World War II" ... Read more

2. Sleeping with Cats: A Memoir
by Marge Piercy
Paperback: 368 Pages (2003-01-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060936045
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Marge Piercy, a writer who is highly praised as both a poet and a novelist, turns her gaze inward as she shares her thoughts on life and explores her development as a woman and writer. She pays tribute to the one loving constant that has offered her comfort and meaning even as the faces and events in her life have changed -- her beloved cats.

With searing honesty, Piercy tells of her strained childhood growing up in a religiously split, working-class family in Detroit. She examines her myriad friendships and relationships, including two painful early marriages, and reveals their effects on her creativity and career. More than a reminiscence of things past, however, Sleeping With Cats is also a celebration of the present and the future, as Piercy shares her views on aging, creativity, and finding a lasting and improbable love with a man fourteen years younger than herself.

A chronicle of the turbulent and exciting journey of one artist's life, Sleeping With Cats is a deeply intimate, unforgettable story.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Strong Voice for Feminism in Contemporary Literature: The How and Why
An honest writer will admit that everything that he or she writes, down to a grocery list, is in some form autobiography, revealing the author's sense of life, core values, interests. The art of literary expression, like any art, is a self-portrait, and the higher the level of quality, the truer we have been to ourselves. When a book reads flat or false, suspect a lie.

When Marge Piercy writes--and she writes like nobody's business, having to date published 17 novels and 17 collections of poetry--she comes to life on the page. Piercy is the perfect illustration of a writer's words shaping the self-portrait, because it makes no difference what genre or style she chooses, she rings true. Poetry or prose, fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, no doubt even that grocery list, show facets of the author. Reading this memoir, Sleeping with Cats, confirms that accuracy, adding layers of understanding to her creative work, for here we see her characters at their birthing place, in the lifelines of Piercy herself.

Piercy was born in the mid 1930s in Detroit, Michigan. Her ethnic background is Jewish and Lithuanian, but it is the former that roots most deeply in her. Her father was a hard-hearted man, an often abusive husband and father, never letting her forget he would have much preferred a son. Their relationship moved between cool and cold, their most successful conversations "about the Tigers and the weather." In his entire lifetime, Piercy's father never read any of his daughter's books.

Her mother was a submissive woman who made a career of repressing dreams while trying, as emotionally battered women do, to please the husband that would not be pleased. Yet she knew her feminine powers and used them like weapons or tools of survival, while they were not enough to save her own dwindling spirit (and perhaps contributed to its brokenness). She seemed to resent the unbreakable spirit in her daughter, who observed as a girl her mother, an incurable flirt, around other men:

"Half the men we dealt with were convinced she was crazy about them, but she mostly felt contempt. They were marks. She had a job to do and she did it. She was obsessed with my father, not with any of these men about whom she had a rich vocabulary of Yiddish insults which she muttered to me after each encounter."

It was a tough childhood of gangs and early sex, with boys as well as other girls, of a pregnancy at age 17 that Piercy had to abort herself, nearly bleeding to death in the process. She never would have children, never wanted them. She learned about life through the hardest knocks, losing a young girlfriend turned prostitute to a heroin overdose ("I understood why she had let her pimp get her hooked: it numbed her."), and having her fingers broken by her angry father, and always knowing herself different, an outsider--yet somehow never really doubting her own worth. She made being different work for her. These were the makings of a young woman who would become one of America's strongest feminist voices.

Piercy is educated at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She wins scholarships. She earns top grades. She is self-sufficient in all things. Piercy is smart and she knows it, and she uses her mind with equal prowess to using her sexuality, enjoying both, lavishing easily in the pleasures each provide. Swearing to never marry ("Marriage... seemed to me a kind of death for a woman, in which she lost not only her will and her power but even her name. I was determined never to marry..."), she marries early, and marries three times. Piercy makes no saint of herself here, nor does she demonize her husbands or lovers. They come to one another with faults, give love best they know how, leave with a few scars left behind but also gifts and valuable lessons.

Piercy's second marriage is open, like it or not, at her husband's insistence. She comes to accept her husband's affairs, focusing on her own interests and literary pursuits. Eventually, she takes a lover of her own. It is the 60s, a time of hippies and communal living and making love not war, and Piercy embraces this period of exploration. It works for her. Never becoming a mother, she becomes instead something of a communal mother, the woman at the center of the group, cooking and caring and cleaning for all, maintaining a kind of sanity and order to things. There is something about Piercy that is both rule breaker and order maker, the center of the storm and the anchor in chaos. Her husband's affairs work only when the other women show her due respect and, preferably, friendship--often a closer one with Piercy than with her husband, the shared lover.

Writing and cats are the thread that binds a life that moves from Detroit to Chicago to New York to San Francisco to Paris to Cape Cod, with a few detours between. Piercy is determined to succeed at her art, and she maintains a disciplined pace at creating novels and other works even when nothing sells, or when it does and gets no notice. Piercy has a steely will and the persistence to carry it through. Her marriages succeed, it seems, when they give her the solid ground on which to set up her writing desk. Her second husband gives her five years to succeed, and she sets to work with determination. If it takes her longer than that, no matter, she shrugs off rejection and keeps writing.

Piercy meets her third husband while married to her second, and while one relationship unravels, the third takes on strength. Ira Wood is also a writer, and the two in some ways seem very different, including their 14 year difference (he is the younger), but are soul mates in the ways that matter. Of her relationship choices, Piercy writes: "I do not love primarily with my eyes. I have had lovers who were gorgeous and lovers who were plain, who were skinny and neurasthenic, who were bulky and overweight. I have cared far more for how each of them treated me than for my eyes' pleasure." Piercy speaks for most women in this, with women choosing partners who bring substance to a relationship as of primary importance, and she finds this in her third marriage, a partner with whom she can talk and talk and talk endlessly, argue and debate and discuss, and enjoy a companionship rich in all aspects of intimacy.

Memory is faulty and relative, Piercy writes in her memoir, but hers always rings sound with a story that does not show its heroine in always the kindest light. What gives her voice such strength, after all, is that she is honest in her portrayal of self, and so, of all her characters, admitting to faults and mistakes, not shying away from moments of truth. We see the outsider, we see the survivor, we see the woman who will never be ashamed or apologetic of her appetite for life.

At the conclusion of each chapter is one of Piercy's poems, adding another layer of insight to her experience. Many times, these poetic interludes are our chance to look the deepest into Piercy's psyche and heart. And if we ever doubt that this woman of determination and smarts and steely survival skills lacks a more conventional feminine softness, we can be assured it is there. We see it for those allowed into her closest circle--her cats. She loves fully her felines, her heart breaks at their loss, and she nurtures and nourishes and pampers like a true earth mother. Her observations of their personality quirks and antics and changing moods are often the most delightful sections of her writing. She loves and is loved unconditionally by her cats, and as living things do, here is where she comes most alive.

Concluding her memoir, for those who have already read some of Piercy's works, and understanding her background gives a reader much greater understanding of the characters in her many, many books. We see the faces of Piercy, of her husbands and lovers, her parents, her friends, and yes, her cats. They appear in all her books, and so we see, this memoir is only one of her many memoirs, each one a stunningly honest and open look at what makes a woman a woman, how she expresses herself in freedom, how she loves and lets go and lives to love again--her men, her cats, her work, her homes, her world.

~Zinta Aistars for The Smoking Poet, Spring 2010 Issue

5-0 out of 5 stars A life lived hard and examined honestly
I've read four or five of Piercy's novels, beginnning with Small Changes over thirty years ago. I enjoyed Summer People and was absorbed by Gone to Soldiers. So I was very pleased to find this memoir, wanting to know more about this extremely talented author. A little over halfway through Sleeping with Cats, however, I started thinking to myself that this woman, Marge Piercy, was certainly hell-on-wheels in her day, and may not be an easy woman to like, even today. Personally, I sleep with dogs, not cats; but that's neither here nor there. As I continued to read her life story I couldn't help but admire her absolute and unflinching honesty. She knows exactly who and what she is and she makes no apologies. This is a woman who knew what she wanted from an early age: to write. And she has worked hard her whole life at perfecting her craft. Here is one line which serves to perhaps summarize her life: "I have great discipline in my work, but in my life, I have often made a mess ..." And later she adds: "I have been a better writer than a person, and again and again I made that choice. Writing is my core." And finally:

"Writing sometimes feels frivolous and sometimes sacred, but memory is one of my strongest muses. I serve her with my words. So long as people read, those we loved survive however evanescently. As do we writers, saying with our life's work, 'Remember.' Remember us. Remember me."

Although you might not agree with many of Piercy's life choices, you have to admire her discipline when it came to her craft. I respect her right to make the choices she made, and I admire her work tremendously, this book included. And don't worry, Marge. We'll remember you. Thanks for sharing this many-layered look at an eventful life in the arts. - Tim Bazzett, author of the Reed City Boy trilogy and Love, War & Polio

4-0 out of 5 stars Marge Piercy, `Sleeping with Cats: A Memoir'
While not as well-known as the American feminist `names' of the 60's, author, poet and activist Marge Piercy has an assured place in their company. I was a late-comer to discovery of her extraordinary work (who could fail to be converted by `Woman on the Edge of Time'?) but have been spell-bound ever since. Personal and political are seamlessly melded in Piercy's diverse oeuvre, and the ease with which she explores interpersonal dynamics is as striking as her interrogations of the many guises of discrimination and the role of technology. It was with great anticipation that I approached her memoir `Sleeping with Cats', which, like her fiction and poetry, is rich and arresting.
The title of her memoir foregrounds her enduring love affair with felines. `Sleeping with Cats' is dedicated to `all those [she has] loved - two and four footed'. Tender evocation of the cats she has nurtured (and which have in turn nurtured her) sit alongside her account of personal and political life, and a selection of her poetry. I am not a `cat person', but Piercy's skill in rendering feline diversity is such that this now feels like a character flaw! Her included poems are limpid and mesmerizing; conveying as much `between the lines' as the words she weaves. As to her accounts of early familhy life, ongoing social activism, and two marriages prior to her enduring passionate partnership with writer Ira Wood, they are a veritable treasure trove of insight, suggestiveness, and relentless self-examination.
At every level, this is a resonant memoir, its combination of diverse elements as potent as it is provocative. Marge Piercy seems to me to be one of the most original of feminist voices, and it is difficult to convey the blend of her alchemy. The notes she sounds are wide-ranging, and she casts searching light on a vast array of topics within a life which has never ceased to be passionately engaged. `Sleeping with Cats' lingers in the mind and heart - a highly recommended read.
Pam Stavropoulos

5-0 out of 5 stars Her emotional life
In the first chapter, Marge Piercy writes, "This memoir focuses on my emotional life, not on my literary or political adventures, or most of my friendships." Consider this when you read it, because this memoir isn't a simple retelling of events. It is written from the heart.

The writing is honest and lyrical. As Piercy escorts the reader through the sometimes rough 'n' tumble decades of her life, groundbass to it all is her relationships with cats. Anyone can appreciate this, but those who have known and loved even one cat will understand Piercy's tender regard for her feline friends.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sleeping with Cats: A Memoir
I began reading this book with a delicious sense of anticipation.Ms. Piercy's writing is, as usual, beautifully crafted, almost lyrical.Her use of the cats in her life was, for me, a tantalizing hook.But unfortunately, no matter how much I wanted to care enough about her life to pick up the book after once putting it down, there was nothing in it, for me, to make that happen.I found the book to be nothing more than a not very interesting, self-indulgent trip down memory lane. ... Read more

3. Woman on the Edge of Time
by Marge Piercy
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (1985-11-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449210820
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Connie Ramos, a woman in her mid-thirties, has been declared insane. But Connie is overwhelmingly sane, merely tuned to the future, and able to communicate with the year 2137. As her doctors persuade her to agree to an operation, Connie struggles to force herself to listen to the future and its lessons for today....
... Read more

Customer Reviews (96)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting But Nothing To Write Home About
I find books like this hard to review. Mostly because when I think about them I make that "Mnah" sound mentally. But, I'm going to delve deep and give you my perspective.

Our main character is Connie. She's a hispanic woman who grew up in the immigrant culture of the fields and poverty. While her family did a little better and she managed a couple of years of additional schooling and a very respectable job, her bad choices ruined it for her. An affair with the boss, a couple of relationships that brought her down socially and her own stint with substance abuse and child abuse have left her 37, very poor and alone. She admittedly sponges off the government and has a family that would be welcome on Jerry Springer.

Connie has spent time in mental institutions and is there again, yet she is also now communicating with a being from a utopian future. One that is, while not perfect, a very close replica to perfect in certain poorly acted films in the 70's.

I hate to spoil books for others so I'll leave it there and go on to what I think of it.

I found Connie very difficult to relate to. As a person who did not have the greatest start in life, I had to work hard and make sacrifices to achieve. When I see otherwise intelligent women like Connie, I feel disgust mixed in with pity. She has done everything wrong and continues to do so.

The tone of the story as it related to Connie and her situation, especially when so much of it was of her own making, was out of joint. It was one of admiration, pity and injustice. None of which were at all in line with what I resonated when reading about her.

In short, the politics were wrong. The concept that the poor suffering (possibly illegal) immigrant who has a criminal and violent past and leaches off the taxpayers is somehow a noble creature that deserves even more isn't one I can get into a reading groove with.

And yet, I did feel for her in the mental institution, where humans are treated as chattel or worse. The public mental health system was filled with atrocities and it should be noted by those who consider her somehow a perfect victim that most of the other inmates there were either white or natural citizens and many were male. Her past had little to do with her treatment there.

As for her communication with the future; it did perk up my imagination ears a bit. They then immediately drooped back down and I suppressed many a gag.

Ms. Piercy's flaw is that she succumbed to the concept of Utopia that had humans in it, but lacked any notional nod to the effects of human nature in Utopia. Therefore, the future became an annoying socialist and communist drone in the background of the story. Everyone shares everything, very few are lazy and everyone has a great talent. Hmm...sure.

It made things tough to continue when it got really bad. But continue I did. There were some interesting bits later and the story took a turn or two that made me glad I soldiered on, but all I can muster for this book is a three if I'm generous.

If you're looking for feminist sci-fi, then this would technically qualify. But if you're looking for the sort of interesting telling of the future as it could be, then this isn't your book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Acedemia
This was a required reading for Critical Pedagogy and Literacy class I took at SUNY Oswego(an education class for teachers). I enjoyed reading it and having our book talks about the possible utopia or dystopia of our future. Piercy is imaginative and a great Jewish leader for Woman's Rights. I would recommend it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Women's Studies
This is a required text book for a class I'm taking. This feels more like a book I would read for enjoyment than a "required" reading. I wasn't sure if I would like it, since it's not the normal plot that I'm interested in. Certain parts are a bit hard to relate to or imagine, but overall, interesting read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not as moving or empowering as I tought by the reviews
I read this book with high hopes only to be disappointed later. I wont go into the details of the plot as I feel this is a waste of time, however, I will say it falls flat at best.

The premise of the novel seemed intriguing.A perceived mad woman in one world and a time traveler in another. I felt the attempt to connect the two worlds was fair yet did nothing for my personal gain of enlightenment.I prefer to read books that move me.I have read some reviews here and feel that they neglect to tell you that you wont be emotionally charged when finishing this novel.

Long and short, I would pick up Handmaids Tale or Huxleys Brave New World or even better yet you should read: Suitcases in the Attic, The lives They left Behind if you want to read something enlightening, heart breaking and moving.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not well written, but DEFINITELY worth reading.
I LOVE this book! It is one of my favourites.

In my opinion, it is not a well written book, but the ideas of what humanity's future might look like are fascinating and light up the imagination.

It is well worth reading just for the ideas. ... Read more

4. The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme
by Marge Piercy
Paperback: 192 Pages (2000-09-19)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$9.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375704310
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Winner of the 2000 Paterson Poetry Prize

About Marge Piercy's collection of her old and new poems that celebrate the Jewish experience, the poet Lyn Lifshin writes: "The Art of Blessing the Day is an exquisite book. The whole collection is strong, passionate, and poignant, but the mother and daughter poems, fierce and emotional, with their intense ambivalence, pain and joy, themes of separation and reconnecting, are among the very strongest about that difficult relationship.

"These striking, original, beautifully sensuous poems do just that. Ordinary moments--a sunset, a walk, a private religious ritual--are so alive in poems like 'Shabbat moment'and 'Rosh Hodesh.' In the same way that she celebrates ordinary moments, small things become charged with memories and feelings: paper snowflakes, buttons, one bird, a bottle-cap flower made from a ginger ale top and crystal beads.

"She celebrates the body in rollicking, gusto-filled poems like 'Belly good' and 'The chuppah,' where 'our bodies open their portals wide.' So much that is richly sensuous: 'hands that caressed you,. . . untied the knot of pleasure and loosened your flesh till it fluttered,' and lush praise for 'life in our spines, our throats,our knees, our genitals, our brains, our tongues.'

"I love the humor in poems like 'Eat fruit,' the nostalgia and joy in 'The rabbi's granddaughter and the Christmas tree,' the fresh, beautiful images of nature--'In winter . . .the sun hangs its wizened rosehip in the oaks.'

"I admire Piercy's sense of the past alive in the present, in personal and social history. The poems are memorials, like the yahrtzeit candle in a glass. 'We lose and we go on losing,' but the poems are never far from harsh joy, the joy that is 'the wine of life.'

"Growing up haunted by Holocaust ghosts is an echo throughout the book, and some of the strongest poems are about the Holocaust, poems that become the voices of those who had no voice: 'What youcarry in your blood is us,the books we did not write, music we could not make, a worldgone from gristle to smoke, onlyas real now as words can make it.'

"Marge Piercy's words make such a moving variety of experiences beautifully and forcefully real."Amazon.com Review
The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme,by Marge Piercy, is that rare book of self-avowedly religious poetrywhose devotional purpose actually enhances its poeticstrength. Piercy's poems, organized in chapters with thematic headingslike "Family," "Marriage," and "Prayer," are plainly presented as helpfor living. Readers will turn to poems such as "Putting the GoodThings Away" when they need inspiration for understanding theirself-sacrificing mothers. Yet Piercy's devotions are real poemswith a literary integrity whose strength and beauty are free ofsentimentality. They are also like liturgy, because they make room forreaders to experience new aspects of contemporary life whilesimultaneously offering the security of very old frameworks forperceiving life. The Jewish themes of these poems are sometimes overt(as in "Chuppah"), but they are often more subtle (as in "The Art ofBlessing the Day"). Throughout, they evince the careful balance offaithful attention to worldly life and the humble consideration ofcosmic order that distinguishes Judaism among Westernreligions. "Attention is love," Piercy writes in the title poem,"what we must give / children, mothers, fathers, pets, / ourfriends, the news, the woes of others. / What we want to change wecurse and then / pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can / with eyesand hands and tongue. If you / can't bless it, get ready to make itnew." --Michael Joseph Gross ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sheer Delight and Very Moving
To read about the Marge Piercy's family and their celebrations of the Jewish holidays moved me greatly.In The Art of Blessing the Day, the poet opens her soul to her readers as she also at times amuses us.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Blessing
I love this book.I use it frequently, especially when I'm asked to say "a few words" or just to look through for a bit of contemplation in the odd moments of the day.I always come across poems that speak to my mood or the situation I'm in.Wonderful range of topics and ideas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Treasures
Marge Piercy's poems are all treasures, many people know that. Here though are particular, specific treasures that relate to her Judaism. Especially poignant and full.

Easiest though, and most precious to me, are the ones available to each of us for our own siddur of our creation. Her Nishmat is, itself alone, priceless. For instance.

Unique and invaluable!

5-0 out of 5 stars It takes skill, practice and our attention
Marge Piercy's poems are made of the substance and stuff of life. The taste of a fresh peach, the joy of picking the first garden tomato, become sources andplaces of contact with the mystery of creation and the Creator! However,it takes a disciplined eye that has time to pay attention to the detail of ordinary daily events to see something eternally extraordinary. !!Piercy's has the eyes to see , the mind to imagine and the skillto tell us where, and how to look!

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Discipline of Blessings"
Among the many blessings to be found in American literature and poetry are the works of American-Jewish writers.Jewish-American poets have been celebrated in two recent anthologies: Telling and Remembring edited by Rubin and Jewish-American Poetry edited by Barron and Sellinger.Ever since Emma Lazarus, writing in the late 19th Century, the poetry written by American Jewish women have played a large part in this literature.

Marge Piercy may well be the best of the Jewish-American poets writing today.Her work is featured prominently in both the Rubin and the Barron and Sellinger anthologies with the latter collection including an essay as well.Both anthologies draw heavily from Ms. Piercy's "The Art of Blessing the Day" which prompted me to explore the entire volume.

The book as written, the dedication states, "for all who may find here poems that speak to their identity, their history, their desire for ritual -- ritual that may work for them".The collection is, indeed, specifically Jewishbut its themes transcend any particular religious commitment and reach out to those who seek themselves in a spiritual path.The broad theme of the book is announced in the title poem (from which I have taken the title of this review) as "to taste/each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet/ and the salty, and be glad for what does not hurt."Again "Bless whatever you can/with eyes and hands and tongue.If you/can't bless it, get ready to make it new."

I was struck by the unity of the collection.Unlike most books of poetry where the reader may pick and choose among poems, this collection is best read as an integral whole from beginning to end.The unity of the collection is particularly impressive because many of the poems had been published earlier in a variety of places.

The book is divided into six sections with themes running cross-currently.The opening section, "Family" describes the poets difficult relationship with her mother and her loving relationship with her old-world grandmother.The section on her marriage was for me the most beautiful of the book with its celebration of erotic, physical and spiritual love.My favorite poem in the third section, "repair of the world" is the poem "to be of use" which celebrates the value of the world of work. (too infrequently praised).The next section is titled "Of history and Interpretation", explores women's issues and the Holocaust, as seen from the eyes of an American, among other themes.The final two sections "Prayer" and "The Year" are based respectively on the daily liturgy used in Judaism and on the yearly cycle of the Jewish holidays including the New Year, the Day of Atonement and Passover.Her versions of the traditional prayers I found insightful and eloquent.

Ms Piercy writes beautifully, with elegance and understatement.Her poetry, with its reflections on the past and on nature and on her surroundings is informed by love rather than anger and by an effort to understand.It is a book that may be turned to repeatedly and thought about over time.

Poetry is an underappreciated art in America, even though many of our writers have shown high achievement.This book is one woman's contribution to the form. ... Read more

5. So You Want to Write (2nd Edition): How to Master the Craft of Writing Fiction and Memoir
by Marge Piercy, Ira Wood
Paperback: 288 Pages (2005-08-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$5.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 097289845X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

“This is a great book, no matter what stage of writing you’re at!”—The Writer Magazine

“Here is a must-have for would-be writers. Put this on the shelf right beside Strunk and White.”—Booklist

“Addresses all the elements of successful writing.”—Tampa Tribune

“Advice on getting your work published is worth the cost of the book alone.”—St. Petersburg Times

A featured selection of the Writer’s Digest Book Club; chosen by The Writer Magazine as a Best Book of the Year; compared by the American Library Association to Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style; acclaimed by critics, students and teachers and adopted by universities across the country, the unique collaboration between a major American novelist and a publisher is back in a revised second edition, bigger and better than ever.

The most useful and entertaining writing book on the market, the updated second edition has new exercises and expanded essays, covering every aspect of writing and publishing fiction and memoir:

How to begin a piece so that a reader can’t put it down
How to create compelling characters
How professional writers use dialogue
How to narrow a strategy for telling the story of your life
How to write about painful material without coming off as a victim

Included are hundreds of insider tips, such as:

The seven important things when writing about loved ones
The 10 most destructive things writers do
What no one will tell you about rejection letters
FAQs about agents and how much writers really earn
What to do if your work is continually rejected

Marge Piercy is a New York Times best-selling novelist and memoirist. Ira Wood is a novelist and publisher. Their workshops, given nationally, address overcoming the inner and outer barriers to creativity.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Concrete analysis of fiction writing, with exercises
I really appreciated the exercises in this book. It also has a very concrete analysis of what it takes to write good fiction. The only drawback of this book, for someone who is not interested in writing a memoir, is that various parts of the book pertain to memoirs (of course, this is in the title), so I found myself skipping those parts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical and Worthwhile
I don't generally read this kind of book because I've read most of them and they tend to give good, but general and somewhat idealistic advice. However this one has a helpful section on plot- a chapter laced with examples from their slush pile and workshop experiences. I also enjoyed the 10 Most Destructive Things Writers Can Do....

5-0 out of 5 stars Second Edition even better than the first!
Most of the time, reading books about writing improves one's writing as much as reading *The Joy of Running* improves one's cardivascular system. I have taught fiction to undergrads, and I usually tell them to spend their time at the keyboard rather than reading how-to books, which tend to be either facile or studiously dreamy.

However, *So you want to write* is based on Piercy's and Wood's workshops and exercises, and while no book will substitute for a good workshop, this book is worth your time. The suggested exercises point one's writing in new directions. The analyses of fiction examples within the book elucidate what was done right as well as deliniate what in the passages should be revised. The expanded exercises are worth purchasing the second edition, even if you already own the first version. The info about rejection slips and what they *really* mean is illuminating. The practical information about how a $100,000 advance is poverty wages is horrifying and absolutely essential to know.

This is an excellent book for writers seeking to explore the craft and broaden their writing.

TK Kenyon
Author of Rabid: A Novel and Callous: A Novel ... Read more

6. Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York
by Marge Piercy
Paperback: 432 Pages (2006-12-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$3.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060789875
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Post–Civil War New York City is the battleground of the American dream. In this era of free love, emerging rights of women, and brutal sexual repression, Freydeh, a spirited young Jewish immigrant, toils at different jobs to earn passage to America for her family. Learning that her younger sister is adrift somewhere in the city, she begins a determined search that carries her from tenement to brothel to prison—as her story interweaves with those of some of the epoch's most notorious figures: Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Susan B. Anthony; sexual freedom activist Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president; and Anthony Comstock, founder of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, whose censorship laws are still on the books.

In the tradition of her bestselling World War II epic Gone to Soldiers, Marge Piercy once again re-creates a turbulent period in American history and explores changing attitudes in a land of sacrifice, suffering, promise, and reward.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Piece of American History
This fascinating, well-written historical novel is a real page-turner, while introducing us to a number of real historical figures as well as to some well-crafted fictional characters. It deals with women's lives and the struggle for women's rights around the American Civil War era, taking place largely in New York.
I bought it for my daughter-in-law because I had enjoyed it so much. She found it very informative and a great read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Backwards!!
I struggled thru the first half of this novel.Kept telling myself it would get better.It didn't.After being introduced to a religious zealot that I had absolutely no interest in (actually started skipping his chapters) and Victoria Woodhull (portrayed as a scam artist and early day hippie,) I hit part two and finally called it quits.Why? Not only was I not enjoying or getting a feel for any of its characters (the exception being the Russian immigrant Freydeh.She alone has kept this novel from being one star) but the novel is chronologically backwards like Star Wars. Part two goes back 16 years all of a sudden. It jumps to 1862 and then to 1847 and back up a bit to 1854 so not only do you have to keep track of who is who, but also what year they are in.If I have to draw a timeline, I am not going to enjoy the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read - entertainment and education
I loved this book. The first chapter was very average, but after that I was hooked! I thought the way you identified with the way some think, and trying to achieve (Elizabeth and Freydeh) and then would get pi**ed off by others (Anthony). Anthony was just one character I couldn't handel, its hard to believe people can think like that, so black and white while themseleves acting in the grey (e.g. the "research" he did with "indecient" material - anatomy books, erotica and girly shows, while preching that the world was going to the dogs because women were working and getting an education). I was dissapointed with Victorias final story - she just seemed to go into a world where she hid the woman she was, with all the strength and free thoughts. I'm still realing over the age of consent being 10....it totally blows my mind. It was good to see how far womens rights have come, but to me highlighted areas where things are still far behind and that to some members of society those "womens" rights were the cause of all the bad in the current world - I have met too many Anthonys

4-0 out of 5 stars I learnt a lot!
This is an extremely interesting book, aswell as being well written. I learnt so much from this novel about the Women's Civil Right's Movement in the US, and also about key figures in this movement. Piercy has done well in keeping the characters as close to the real person as possible. Characters in this novel are wonderfully complex, and I found many of them so intriguing that I researched them afterwards.
A really good historical novel.

4-0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Why don't they teach this in school?
The more I read historical fiction the more convinced I am that the educational system in America is completely inadequate (and I went to a supposedly college prep school!) "Sex Wars" by Marge Percy is a particularly good example of that failure. There is so much in this novel about women's history that should not be forgotten-especially now. There is information in this book that should be taught to everyone so that we can keep from backsliding into a nation where once again women are treated as children, with no control over their own bodies, legal matters, property, freedom or children.

"Sex Wars" is really four stories is one, though they all intertwine and weave a larger message of the battle that women faced for equality in the last quarter of the 19th century. Though the back of the book claims that the novel mainly follows Freydeh, a young Jewish woman searching for her sister in New York City and along the way she meets some of the largest influences of the age, in reality it is divided up between her and three others. The first suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Victoria Woodhull sexual freethinker and the first woman to run for president, and Anthony Comstock founder of the society for the suppression of Vice; they all have a voice in this book.

In truth the novel does follow Freydeh as she searches for her sister, but also as she begins to adopt street children to care for and begins a burgeoning condom making business so that she can make enough money to feed, cloth and house herself and her adopted children, as well as sending money back to her home country for her family to immigrate on. But it also follows Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony as they fight with abolitionists to get equal time for their cause and with proper ladies who aren't ready to truly fight-not just talk politely- for equality. And Victoria Woodhull, who grew up in a family of con men but pulled herself out using her smarts and the conviction that she was meant to be a great leader some day but was constantly in scandal because of her family, belief in spiritualism and her practice of free love. And last but certainly not least is Anthony Comstock whose rampant censorship seems to be based on true fear of women and young people's corruption, which sees as leading to death.

Told in expansive, highly descriptive third person, this is a novel that truly is about the sex wars. Every person in this book is fighting in their way-sometimes simply by insisting on making a living independent of men-for equality or dominance. And not only are they fighting over the ideals of the day but against thousands of years of oppression and inequality. It's a mighty task.

This book was a revelation to me. It is crammed full of facts that they just don't teach you in school (such as: a married woman couldn't sign legal documents but a single one could, women could not testify in court because it was considered indecent, anatomical books were considered to be pornography) as well as the accounts of just some of the numerous men and women who worked their whole lives to create a better world where all are equal. In every way it is an inspiring book and I am glad to have read it.

However it's also a slow starter and a bit hard to get really absorbed in because of the constantly shifting perspective. For about the first one hundred seventy five pages I wasn't sure if this was a book I could finish, but after that it became impossible to put down.

This is a book everyone should read. If only to see how far we all have come in the last hundred and thirty years and what we could possibly loose.

Four point five stars. I look forward to reading more of this author's work!.
... Read more

7. Dance the Eagle to Sleep
by Marge Piercy
Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1982-08-12)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$11.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449201147
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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They call themselves the Indians.Shawn, a magnetic rock star; Corey, part Indian, whose heritage gave the movement its name; Billy, a brilliant young scientist; and Joanna, a pretty runaway "army brat" who survives on pot and sex.Through the experiences of four young revolutionaries, this macabre and moving adventure brings an all-too-possible future into shattering focus. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An important historical document, a good but flawed vision
Marge's first novel. This is an important historical document. It is really in novel form, with the grace, strength, vigor and torque of Marge Piercy's particular view, this is a distillation of what the SDS RYM faction thought a revolutionary change in America would be like, written close to the moment. It has excitment, vigor of both a moral and a page turning type, and it reads like science fantasy today even though at the time it was conceived thousands of people probably thought it was political realism.
While at the time I would have said what I say now, that real change wont happen until the great batallions of working and farming people in this country move into action, the dream, the justice sought, and the excitement here is 100 times more important than what turned out to be fanciful.If in those days people had these fanciful dreams, with wars, near depression conditions, rising crises in health, homelessness, and the collapse even of bourgeois educationa nd social servidces for working people only beginning, the young Marge Piercy's cherished ream of a better world and faith somehow it could be fought for and won are worth a 1000 cynical, self-centered, neurotic tales that ignore the immorality and crime of this system and the need to tear it down. ... Read more

8. Braided Lives
by Marge Piercy
Paperback: 560 Pages (1997-06-23)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$19.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449000915
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Growing up in Detroit in the 1950s, and going to college when the first seeds of sexual freedom are being sown, Jill and Donna are coming of age in an exciting, turbulent time. Wry, independent Jill thrives in the new free-spirited world, while her beautiful cousin Donna desperately searches for a man to make her life whole. As each cousin is driven by different demons and desires, they eventually realize that they cannot overcome fundamental differences in each others' lives. Still, as their futures assume contrary paths, Jill and Donna realize that they may be separated, but they'll never be truly divided from one another.
"Rings with passionate awareness...honest and impressive."

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the books of my life!

Marge Piercy's writings are about human values. She's not an alienated, too sophisticated, befuddled, philosophically complex writer who writes to communicate angst and befuddlement at the world. Marge Piercy's writings are about human values and how those values came through to move people forward starting in the struggles of women, of Blacks, of young people against the war in the 1960s.

This is a book that I read every year or so since I first got it about 20 years ago.It is a book that I particularly find myself rereading when I feel overrun or perplexed or hit by disaster. I think I find such strength in this book because this is the story of someone who fought for their own identity out of the working class life of growing up in the 1950s, out of fighting for a women's place in the middle of sexism and male domination of academic life in the early 1960s.I think this is a book about the realization of the self by shedding what dead traditions that stood in our way in those times.

While she is a delicate, precise sculptor with words in poetry, Piercy is never one to make the words in her prose get in the way of putting down a clear story.

I hope you will find this book adds to your life the way it has added to mine.If you like this try her Small Changes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Womens' fiction on a new level...
It is very easy to group all women writers into one category, especially in the UK where it seems that every woman is a twenty-something writer of tales of lost boyfriends and work stress. Marge Piercy is a world class above these writers, depite the dodgy publiscist she has who gives all her novels terrible covers! This book is an enticing tale of women surviving in a society that does not hand them anything. It's a sobering tale for those of us who feel we have a relatively firm grasp on our lives/careers in this new millenium. Spend some time thinking about the struggle women face on the most basic level day in day out and try not to cry during 'that bit'!

5-0 out of 5 stars My favourite book - ever
Like one of the other reviewers, I have reread this book at least once a year since it was first published in the UK in 1984.Unbelievably, it is no longer in print there.Marge Piercy has created the most believable fictional world I have ever read - in part I suspect because Braided Lives is fairly autobiographical - and her memoir "Sleeping with Cats" confirms this (also a great read).I learn something new every time I read the book.Jill, the main character, is rounded, complex, politically aware and self-sufficient.I wish I could write as well as Marge Piercy to urge every woman to buy and read this book - I know my life would have been poorer without reading it.It really is that good.

2-0 out of 5 stars Tedious, sterotypical and one sided
This novel has a great title. But, some of the intertwined characters that were fleshed out were absolutely cruel and unlikeable, others so unidimensional, that I didn't really want to know more about them, and didn't care as much as I should what happened to them. Donna and Peter deserved each other. What was there to like about Mike? I, too, was reminded of Margaret Atwood's style when reading this, but she's not one of my favorites either. To be fair, perhaps to really appreciate this book you had to have read it during the era in which it was written.

5-0 out of 5 stars Passionate, Vivid, Absorbing
This book is one of my top 3 favorites, along with two novels by Margaret Atwood (and what writer wouldn't want to be grouped with Atwood?) I was a sophomore in high school the first time I read Braided Lives and have readit perhaps 5 or 6 times in the ensuing 15 years. Although the prose seemsat times a little overblown, this book throbs with emotion, and with eachread-through I experience new depths to the story of Jill and her friendDonna. This novel went a long way toward developing my own politicalsensibilities, for which I'd like to thank Marge Piercy. Her characters,settings, and themes remain as vivid in my mind as if I'd lived this storymyself.

Highly, highly recommend! ... Read more

9. Small Changes
by Marge Piercy
Paperback: 544 Pages (1997-06-23)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$17.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449000931
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"Marge Piercy is a raw, tough, willfull, magnificent novelist."
Set against the early days of the modern feminist movement, SMALL CHANGES tells the story of sensual Miriam Berg, who trades her doctorate for marriage and security, but still hungers for a life of her ow,n and shy, frightened Beth who is running from the life Miriam seeks and into a new world of different ideas and a different kind of love.....

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Sprawling, Fascinating time warp
I was just a kid during the time this book is set, and it really is a fascinating look at the issues of the day.Piercy gives transcriptions of the kind of "rap sessions" people had, intense conversations debating gender politics.

On the other hand, important plot events happen offstage, like one of the main characters' wedding!

The book's ending seems to suggest that traditional gender roles doom love-- Miriam and Neil were happy enough until they bought into them-- but the book ends with the pov of the young "other woman."It's unclear whether their marriage really will break up, but the contrast with Beth, in a happy if illicit (they're on the run) lesbian relationship with Wanda, is clear.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish I'd written it
I always wanted to write a novel about women in this time, but after I read this book, I stopped thinking about it.Marge Piercy said exactly what I had wanted to say.It's all about the freedom, yet confinment, of the sexual revolution, the questions asked at that time about the real similarities and differences between men and women, i.e., nature versus nurture, etc.Marge P. is a wonderful writer, and I enjoy all her material immensely.The small stories about all people contained in this novel become dear to one's heart.

4-0 out of 5 stars The issues and attitudes of the 70's come rushing back
The publication date of the book doesn't point out that the copyright date is 1973.It wasn't just set in the early 70's- it *was* that time.The time of communes, early gay rights, women's rights- we have so much tothank those people for.For not accepting rape as "just one of thosethings men do".For being able to love who we wanted, for saying whatwe mean.Marge Piercy explores some of the issues that "Vida"explored in greater detail; being on the run, set ups for the charge ofconspiracy, supporting people who believe as you in spite of never havingmet them before.*sigh* what an idealistic time.And they needed thatidealism to change all that needed changing.By the time I was a collegestudent, we didn't call them communes, they were co-ops.Gardening wasjust gardening and women were no longer asked personal questions in jobinterviews anymore- ok, not often.I really appreciate the thoughts andwork that went before us.The cat is, btw, a character throughout thebook, as cats ought to be in a Marge Piercy novel.And remember, if acharacter doesn't like cats, you won't like that character, or youshouldn't.:-)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of My All Time Favorite Novels
I reread this after 20 years and am amazed that I still find its insights about men and women and the changes that happened in the 70s fresh and thought-provoking.Back then, I loved the book but thought it was a bitmale-bashing.Now, I don't think the male characters are stereotypes at all but real representations of what intense, intelligent men are like. Similarly, the female characters remind me of how far women have come.Iwish Marge Piercy would write a 90s novel about such fascinating women andtheir ongoing struggles to have it all.The quality of the writing andcharacter delineations are just fabulous although the plotline may seemslow to some.

5-0 out of 5 stars So realistic about the budding feminism of the 1970's
I loved Miriam Berg and even though the book left me up in the air I feltlike she's going to be just fine.All the issues of feminism in the 70'scame back to me.I was there.We made it through.I've been a fan ofPiercy's poetry for years, especially "The Moon is AlwaysFemale."This is the first of her novel's I've read.Looking forwardto more.Several friends loved "Woman on the Edge of Time", soI'll try it next. ... Read more

10. Circles on the Water
by Marge Piercy
 Paperback: 299 Pages (1982-05-12)
list price: US$22.50 -- used & new: US$14.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394707796
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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More than 150 poems from her seven books of poetry written between 1963 and 1982. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful poetry, came in great condition
I have had a copy of this book for years and must have lent it to someone who didn't return it. Marge Piercy's poetry is so evocative and pitch perfect. I ordered the book used on Amazon and it came in a few days in terrific condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rich and Captivating
I had never read Marge Piercy until I found a poem of hers in an anthologyand then rushed out to find whatever I could find written by her. That issubstantial. I love this book. It contains a wide range of emotions andsubjects, all written in a style that makes the poem easy to identify with,while containing multiple layers that make it new every time you read it.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful book!!
I truly love this book.It includes a fine sampling of Ms. Piercy's work.There are love poems, feminist poems, poems about animals and vegetables and living at the Cape.I bought the book about 15 years ago and Icontinue to read these poems.Each time I do I get something new.Amust-have for anyone who loves poetry!

5-0 out of 5 stars Close Encounters of the Thought-Provoking Kind
Once, maybe twice, in a lifetime is such a soul as Marge Piercy found. I was inching through the Poetry section of a local bookstore, head tilted to read all the titles, when I paused and rubbed out a cramp in my neck. I stood before a book taller than those on either side. I scanned the cover- plain, yet appealing- opened to a random page, and began reading. After the third poem, a powerful piece centered around rape, I decided to buy it. A few quarters jingled in an otherwise empty pocket. Fine, if I were only paying the sales tax! I wasn't able to return for three months. It was gone. Now I find that it is out of stock. No tears are shed, but the sadness remains. Piercy is one of the finest poets of the 20th century. I'll be looking for future works, and keep larger sums of cash(or credit) in my wallet.

5-0 out of 5 stars a favorite
I love Marge Piercy's poems and this book is the best collection I know.Her clear thinking, uncompromising feminism, her brassy humor, and her hopeful insight have been a delight that I return to again and again ... Read more

11. To Be of Use
by Marge Piercy
 Paperback: Pages (1973-11)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$212.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385067194
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12. Stone, Paper, Knife
by Marge Piercy
Paperback: 144 Pages (1983-03-12)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394712196
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13. He, She and It
by Marge Piercy
Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages (1993-01-23)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$2.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449220605
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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"A triumph of the imagination. Rich, complex, impossible to put down."
Alice Hoffman
In the middle of the twenty-first century, life as we know it has changed for all time. Shira Shipman's marriage has broken up, and her young son has been taken from her by the corporation that runs her zone, so she has returned to Tikva, the Jewish free town where she grew up. There, she is welcomed by Malkah, the brilliant grandmother who raised her, and meets an extraordinary man who is not a man at all, but a unique cyborg implanted with intelligence, emotions--and the ability to kill....
From the imagination of Marge Piercy comes yet another stunning novel of morality and courage, a bold adventure of women, men, and the world of tomorrow.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

3-0 out of 5 stars He, She and it
This book is summed up easily with just a couple words: Human and Android sex!

That's right people, just when you thought you've read it all, you stumble upon a love story about a woman and her machine, and a new world of possibilities opens up for you. I mean, it doesn't get much better than that, right? Not to mention the fact that one of the characters is this Amazon-like super-woman. So really, this book has it all.

Honestly though, this book just didn't grab me the way I like to be grabbed... (That sounded kind of dirty); I never really got into it. And while I understood the correlation to the Golem, I found that part of the story distracting. Whenever it came up I skimmed pages. Perhaps if that part wasn't there I would have liked the book more.

That said, if you're in the market for a Corporate-dominated-dystopian-world, mixed with a dash of SciFi-Romance that involves humans and androids -- and I think we've all been looking for a book like that at least once in our life -- then this book is for you!

Best part of the book: The ending (that wasn't a joke or a jab at the book. I actually really did like the ending).

2-0 out of 5 stars Sexist
This book is very sexist.She is a good author, but her ideas are a bit difficult to take.Very femanistic.

4-0 out of 5 stars A novel about wish fulfillment, not about characters
Piercy sketches a dysfunctional society with delicious imagination. My favorite scenes take place in the savage chaos of the "Glop" (wonderful slang for "megalopolis") and the cruel antiseptic world of the "multis" (multinational corporation-states). Most of the primary novel, however, does not take place in either setting, but rather within the sanctuary of a Jewish collective that has managed to stitch together a highly self-reliant community that has managed to preserve old-fashioned virtues (regard for nature, culture, food) and defend itself against the voracious multis. A sizable part, in the form of a narrated parallel story, also takes place within the walls of the Jewish ghetto within Prague in the 1600s. I found both of these sheltering microcosms interesting, though somewhat less so than the harsher worlds outside.

But while I like this universe, and its interplay between brutality and safety, I cannot think of a single character whom I find particularly compelling. I am sure I am supposed to like Malkah, the matriarch who is by turns genius, grandmother, and libidinous free spirit, but instead I find her self-congratulatory and eventually devoid of surprises for me. I am also encouraged to admire warrior women Riva and Nili, and to empathize with Shira, the "everywoman" protagonist. However, the first two are caricatures, and Shira's thoughts so prosaic, repetitive, and omnipresent that I found it hard to empathize with her. Avram and Gadi are frozen in the male roles of angry father and rebellious foppy son, while Yod and Joseph, the golems of the present and past, exist more or less as the toys of the other characters. Except for the fact that Shira acquires some more self-confidence as the result of her actions, there is little along the lines of character development to be seen.

It seemed to me that wish fulfillment propelled the action: wouldn't it be wonderful to design one's own sexual partner/object, to literally take up arms against one's employer, to build a genius robot to beat back the overwhelming forces outside the ghetto walls for just a while, to join an imminent rebellion against the forces of injustice? And really, there's nothing wrong with that. I certainly enjoyed the journey. But ultimately, it felt just a bit more shallow in the realm of character than it could have been.

5-0 out of 5 stars The of the two best novels on Cyborgs that I have ever read
I don't mean the title of my review title lightly.I truly do believe that this is the best novel on cyborgs or robots that I have ever read, along with Philip K. Dick's masterpiece DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SLEEP?Both books explore the question of personhood not merely by examining a central character who is a artificial human, but by looking at artificiality in human beings as well.Yod is a cyborg who has been constructed by a scientist in an independent Jewish enclave in the late 21st century.But the people in the novel are equally artificial.Some have been technically augmented to such an extent that they can't easily be considered human.Others have been altered in appearance by plastic surgery in order to conform to the latest aesthetic standards.Even the book's major character, Shira, has received multiple enhancements.Early in the book she is able to read the time off ocular implants and she, like most of the characters in the book, can go onto the Net by plugging into a plug attached to her brain.By the end of the book it isn't clear how sharply the line can be drawn between people and machines.

HE, SHE AND IT (originally titled BODY OF GLASS) is both an updating and retelling of the Golem of Prague story.In the past century this story has been communicated most famously in the Paul Wegener film (who also played the Golem), where the Golem is portrayed as more a monster than anything (though not a very good movie, it is visually unforgettable, and was one of the major influences on James Whale's FRANKENSTEIN, especially in the portrayal of the monster).Golems have appeared in a number of books, TV series, and computer games (e.g., Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel FEET OF CLAY introduces a Golem who becomes a member of the Night Watch; an episode of THE X-FILES features a Golem; and golems have features in a number of games, such as the MMORPG Asheron's Call).In Piercy's novel the parallels between the Golem of Prague and Yod are underscored in many ways, not least in Malkah's telling to Yod of the story.Just as the golem Joseph was created by Rabbi Loeb to protect the Jewish ghetto in Prague from pograms, so Yod is created to protect an independent Jewish enclave from encroachment from one of the vast corporations that control the planet.Yod is one of the most fascinating cyborgs in literature.

Many novelists have struggled to depict robots and cyborgs in convincing ways.Most novelists end up making the cyborgs pretty much indistinguishable from people.Others make the robots so mechanical as to be silly and unbelievable (I find this fault with almost all of Asimov's robots).Yod is less mechanical than Asimov's automatons, but more than inhuman.The story isn't completely immune to one of the most absurd assumptions ever made about robots and cyborgs:that they would be normally be made incapable of hurting people.The silly notion that robots would be incapable of hurting people was the fault of Asimov and his laws of robotics, some of the most nonsensical tripe ever put forward.Even a couple of seconds thought would be sufficient to make anyone realize that robots would initially be primarily created to hurt or kill humans.Most of the initial research on robots was done under the funding of DARPA, a branch of the Defense Department.Virtually all of the current research in robotics in the United States is funded by DARPA.And the U.S. military has thousands of robots on active duty.Ironically, PackBots are used in huge numbers in Iraq and Afghanistan in both armed an unarmed versions, and are made by the iRobot corporation (the makers of the Roomba vacuum cleaners), a corporation named in honor of Asimov's famous collection of short stories, stories in which he developed the silly notion of robots that would not hurt people.The most obvious use of robots is military situations where the danger to human life (at least to one's own soldiers) is minimized.

The world that Marge Piercy assumes is a fascinating one.The United States has always been characterized by an almost unreasoning fear of government.At the same time, there is far less fear of companies and corporations.I'm the opposite.I'm terrified of the moral stance of the corporate world.Interestingly, the so-called founder of American conservatism, John Adams, was, like Adam Smith (who felt that those who participated in the market should play no role in government), leery about the influence that market forces and merchants would have on democracy.He feared an economic elite and felt that the most important role of the executive branch was to resist the formation of such an economic elite.So I've always found my country's belief in a benevolent corporate world to be odd at best.While Adams was, I think, wrong in hoping that the executive branch would act as an effective deterrent to corporate influences, I do think that we in the middle class are better off pegging our hopes on government as a deterrent to the corporate world than the corporate world as a deterrent to government.Most Sci-fi writers tend to view the corporate world with a sceptical eye.In Kim Stanley Robinson's great Mars Trilogy the bad guys are the transnational corporations who control the various national governments, and who see Mars as an asset to be exploited.

In Piercy's novel, any semblance of either state or national government is nonexistent.Corporations have taken over the world.Or what is left of the world.The novel reflects the predictions of scientists of what will happen if something isn't done to reverse the effects of global warming.Coastlines are receding; people cannot go out into sunlight without danger to their health; water and air quality is dire; cities are intensely crowded.Corporations control everything and their pursuit of the small independent enclave that Yod protects is based partly on their desire to acquire the research they have been engaged in (primarily Yod himself), but mainly on their outrage of a village that exists outside of corporate influence.

This is a marvelously rich and deeply textured novel.Marge Piercy is not primarily or even especially a Sci-fi writer, even though William Gibson has credited her earlier novel WOMAN ON THE EDGE OF TIME with directly inspiring the birth of Cyberpunk.The problem with many Sci-fi novels is that they usually don't hold up as novels.They often contain many fascinating elements, but they usually do not compare well with the best mainstream novels with the quality of their prose or with character development.This novel is simply a fine novel, not merely a Sci-fi novel.The book has generated a significant literature by feminist literary critics and is frequently cited as an important work in the discussion of cyborgs (Piercy cites Donna Haraway's important essay "A Cyborg Manifesto" as an influence on her book).

I believe that this should be read by anyone who loves books in general, but in particular by those interested in superbly written Sci-fi novels.It will also appeal to those who are interested in dystopian literature or by books that explore questions of gender in a Sci-fi context (it compares nicely with Atwood's THE HANDMAID'S TALE in this regard).And if you are interested in great books on cyborgs and robots, this has to be on the shortest of short lists, even if that list has only one or two items.

4-0 out of 5 stars What is it to be human?
Shira works for a large Multi (a domed city in the ruins of the world that houses a specific corporation - in Shira's case the Y-S Corporation), and has recently split up with her husband Josh and is involved in an ugly custody battle over their son Ari.Shira blames herself for going the conventional way of marriage and childbirth for part of her problems.But when the Y-S Multi grants full custody of Ari to Josh, and then moves them offworld to Pacifica Platform where she cannot visit, Shira gives up all hope and returns to her hometown, the free city of Tikva near the volatile and poisoned seas.She's welcomed back by her grandmother Malkah, who raised her from birth rather than her natural mother Riva.Malkah works with old Avram, on accessing the Base (or Net) and has been secretly building a cyborg to be as human as possible.

Shira has to deal with old feelings, a very young and strong love, for Avram's son Gadi, also back in Tikva for some legal reasons involving the "stimmies" he creates. (like virtual reality games).Shira is distracted from Gadi by the presence of Yod, Avram and Malkah's cyborg.She forms a deep love for Yod as she helps along with his programming.But Y-S has learned of Yod, and will use any means necessary, even Shira's son Ari, to get their hands on him.

Interspersed throughout the storyline are tales that Malkah has programmed for Yod to read, of Prague in 1600 and a scientist named Jonah who created a golem made from clay to protect the ghettos from the pogroms.Like Yod falling for Shira, so did Joseph the golem fall for Jonah's granddaughter Chava.

'He, She, And It' is a unique novel of open prejudices.Human feelings abound, even amongst the non-human characters.The characterizations and descriptions are terrific, but the storyline is a little slow, and the ending far too drawn out to be climactic at all.I enjoyed 'He, She, And It' because is was written with a good melding of SciFi and love story.I recommend the book but don't expect to be able to zip through it.Enjoy!

... Read more

14. The Crooked Inheritance: Poems
by Marge Piercy
Paperback: 176 Pages (2009-06-02)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$10.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375711406
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
An “exquisite . . . spot on” (The Hudson Review) collection of poems from one of our best-loved and best-selling poets that is both personal, with poetry about love, nature and reflections on the stages of life, and political, ranging from the war in Iraq and Katrina to concerns such as women’s rights and the poet’s childhood in Detroit. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Speaking her mind
I was fortunate to hear Marge Piercy read her poetry at The Wisconsin Book
Festival and I was blown away.What a joy to discover a new author to read
and recommend.

In "Tracks", Piercy portrays the multitude of roles we fill, not only
with our relatives and friends, but also to the animals we interact with in
our life journey.

In "Hollywood Haircut" she wonders if a $400 haircut would change her life
for the better but decides
"No,I thought so.
I'll stick to Sarah
and my $35 trim."

In "Mighty Big" Piercy considers the ramifications of our arrogant foreign

I am going to quote from "Swear It" regarding those who seem to be holier
than thou.

"It has always amazed me there are
words too potent to say to those
whose ears are tender as baby
lettaces-often those who label
us into narrow jars with salt and

vinegar,saying, People like THEM,
meaning me and mine.Never say
the K or N word, just quietly shut
and bolt the door.Just politely
insert their foot in the Other's face."
... Read more

15. The Moon is Always Female
by Marge Piercy
 Paperback: Pages (1984)

Asin: B0042ZSD6C
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing writing
Many of the poems here are amazing. Margo Piercy has a way of personifying things,and making creations you would never imagine. I enjoyed her writing, and her works are not predictable. Good stuff.

1-0 out of 5 stars Plainly poor for the most part
I enjoyed very few of these poems.The most frustrating part about this book is that some pieces were AMAZING, but then I would feel cheated that most that followed was contrived dreck."Incursions, Excursions" and "Memo" were phenomenal.Those two were the best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poetry That Cuts to the Core
I am not usually a poetry reader but many of the poems in this book stopped me in my tracks.Marge Piercy knows how to get to the core of the matter and fully describes feelings and experiences I have had.

Here is an excerpt from Morning Athletes

"It is not the running I love, thump
thump with my leaden feet that only
infrequently are winged and prancing,
but the light that glints off the cattails
as the wind furrows them, the rum cherries
reddening leaf and fruit, the way the pines
blacken the sunlight on their bristles,
the hawk flapping three times, then floating
low over beige grasses,
and your company
as we trot, two friendly dogs leaving
tracks in the sand.The geese call
on the river wandering lost in sedges
and we talk and pant, pant and talk
in the morning early and busy together."

5-0 out of 5 stars Picked it up and Never Put it Down
My copy is the one dog-eared, worn volume always where I can find it on the bookshelf. Usually poetry volumes contain some winners and some losers, but I've read every poem cover to cover repeatedly, had favorites, sent copies to women who inspired me, and loved my copy in some rough times. Piercy's poems raise the bar for what women can be in poetry- hers are real- warts and all. And nevertheless, her first-person poetry makes those flaws both recognizable and even at times endearing. The tragedies are laced with revelation, the lovers are never perfect, and even Piercy's piece devoted to lost luggage evokes those little moments which become laughable and yet epic in their betrayal.

4-0 out of 5 stars Poetry as I like it!
I like poetry with imagery that resolves into a shift in vantage point; this is something of which Marge Piercy is a master. The poems are in some aspects raw and gutsy, others are lyrical and meditative. I read "The Doughty Oaks" outloud to someone who also admired its tight imagery of a miser in rags, and the contradiction at the end of the poem. The last set of poems in the book are based on the Celtic Lunar calendar (in name only, this isn't Wicca) as a way for Piercy to celebrate the lunar calendar of the body and of the Jewish religion as well--whose festivals fall on lunar dates and account for our shifting Easter holiday.Well worth reading if you like poetry. This is one book I will be pulling off the shelf from time to time, to find new aspects of meaning. ... Read more

16. Three Women: A Novel
by Marge Piercy
Paperback: 320 Pages (2002-01-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060937025
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Suzanne Blume has known success and disappointment in equal measure. A respected lawyer who survived two marriages and put two children through college, she now faces the disquieting prospect of her wayward older daughter moving back home. But more troubling still is the news that her mother, a woman of legendary independence who has never truly accepted her daughter nor approved of her choices, has been felled by age and illness. And, for the first time in her life, she needs Suzanne's help.

Intertwining the lives of three generations of contemporary women, master storyteller Marge Piercy plunges into the deepest, most elemental basics of life -- love, aging, illness, and death -- and emerges with a brave, compassionate exploration of the volatile ground between mothers and daughters.

Amazon.com Review
The heroine of Marge Piercy's Three Women is something of a feministtrailblazer: the first woman to teach constitutional law at her big-cityuniversity. At five feet three inches, however, Suzanne Blume feels "too small for her rolein the world." To compensate, this pint-sized divorcee has transformedherself into a human dynamo, obsessively slicing and dicing the time shedevotes to her mother, her two daughters, her students, and her e-mailboyfriend. Yet this rigorously arranged world is turned upside down whenher problematic older daughter moves in, followed by her stubborn, ailingmother.

Suzanne's addiction to the clock infuriates her offspring--indeed, Elenahas deliberately "chosen to go to the other extreme, exalting spontaneity."And her mother, Beverly, remains a fiery, left-wing activist to the end,spurning such bourgeois amenities as the datebook. It's the ultimatechallenge, then, for these three women to peacefully cohabit. What's worse,they're beset by a series of calamities, some shocking, some mundane. Yetthis high-tension ménage à trois ultimately learns the value ofmutual support and familial love. And along the way, Piercy plunges rightinto the deepest, most elemental stuff of life: sex, betrayal, aging,illness, and death.She's both brave and compassionate in her explorationof the volatile ground between mothers and daughters--but no less bravethan the characters she has created. By the time you finish readingPiercy's 15th novel, you'll find it difficult to leave the Blumes to theirown, unmistakably feminine devices. --Laura Mirsky ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's been over a year ...
... since I finished reading this book, and its intricate story has stayed with me. Each sub-plot worthy of its own work, Piercy weaves them together in an impressively seamless fashion. I felt the narrative voice shift with the chapters as told from each of the three women's point-of-view. I related in some way to each of them -- to Elena's rebellion, to Suzanne's success, to Beverly's activism. Since I began writing & editing professionally, it has been extraordinarily difficult for me to lose myself in a book. This one took me into its pages and still hasn't let go.

3-0 out of 5 stars Underdeveloped Characters, Shallow Story
I'm a longtime fan of Marge Piercy, ever since I devoured Gone to Soldiers, Woman on the Edge of Time and He, She and It.Another enjoyable read was Ms. Piercy's frank and affectionate memoir, Sleeping with Cats.This effort, however, didn't do much for me.I didn't feel emotionally involved with any of the characters and basically could have cared less what happened to them.I felt this was a superficial read; nothing gripped me at all.It's too bad; was it written in in a hurry?I won't give up on Ms. Piercy, though, and will keep an eye out for her future works.

1-0 out of 5 stars A very poor choice
Having bought this book after seeing it recommended in one of the amazon e-mails, I was incredibly disappointed.
The writing is poor, and the plot is not sufficiently compelling to encourage finishing the book (and I rarely am so bored that I don't bother).Doubtless this assessment will have its detractors.But if you enjoy good literature, don't bother with this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars In-Depth Portraits of Women
Piercy's novel delves into the intertwined lives of three women: Suzanne, a successful lawyer; Beverly, her unconventional, activist mother; and Elena, her troubled daughter. Suzanne finds herself in the middle of a storm of emotions as she copes with her daughter returning home and her mother, incapacitated by a stroke, also joining the household. There are events in the past, layers of conflict and guilt, that bind these three women together. Gradually, the novel uncovers this history.

The great strength of this book is in the respect and space it gives to each of these three very different people. Beverly was a radical who worked for civil rights and unions. She was a powerful, dramatic figure. Now, following her stroke, she does not know how to cope with the loss of her vibrant energy.

Elena seems to exist on pure emotion, living for the thrill from one moment to the next, but her love for her grandmother brings out another side of her. As she cares for Beverly, she discovers that can find the strength in herself to help someone she loves.

Suzanne seems to be the hardest character to relate to. She is busy all the time, consumed with her career and household tasks. Her family feels burdensome to her, though she loves them. She wants badly to reconcile with her mother, Beverly, and find some point of connection, but time to do so is running out.

3-0 out of 5 stars COMPELLING
This novel is as compelling as any of Piercy's work and a little more ambitious than most.The issues it deals with are intense and disturbing and will likely stay with the reader for a long time.My one criticism was that the denoument of the subplot concerning Elena, Evan and Chad was SO fascinating that I thought the rest of the book paled a little in comparison. ... Read more

17. Longings of Women
by Marge Piercy
 Hardcover: Pages

Asin: B0018FNQ7U
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars A book worth reading
This is not a great novel, I think, but some real truths do wind in and around in it. And they stay with you.

Piercy's three intertwined heroines (?) seem aspects of what you might call an overview of Female Coping with The World.They all network with other women(the friendships are there) and wrestle with economic and emotional survival; they manage, cringe, create small triumphs, rage.Each is also also distinct. One is a homeless woman who can "pass" as lower-class, cleaning homes/feeding pets, and staying in her clients' places very carefully, while the owners are gone. One is a middle-aged professor and author, married to an adjunct drama prof who directs plays and has (per an agreement with her) affairs with his leading ladies. And one is a woman from a poor, large family, who, buttressed by personal goals and a determination to make her way, takes no prisoners, and herself becomes one. Indeed, they all seem imprisoned in beliefs about themselves that have developed from their relations with their various families and jobs.

The husbands and kids, have to say, are written as a large part of the problem - Piercy's description of the young distancing themselves is dead on - so it's not an even-handed treatment. I also found it long in the beginning and too quick at the end. Still - that sense of having to invisibly manage things, of being responsible that they turn out well, of carrying that off - of that as a life task - seems dead on, too. Worth pondering, maybe especially by women.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I was disappointed in this book. I thought that the story could have been told much more effectively using about 1/3 of the words and details. It took me over a week to read, not because of its length so much as my lack of interest. The storyline of Leila and Becky were interesting but I found myself becoming bored with Mary. I feel like this was an "almost there" book as I think the premise was good but the wordiness and the lack of character-depth was disappointing. I found Leila's extended family to be a superfluous addition to the story and many of the metaphors were borderline juvenile. I know this was the author's attempt to capture the characters' voices, but I think she missed the mark. I gave it 2 stars because I did plow through and finish it, because I wanted to know what happened. Though, since I didn't connect with the characters, I was ambivalent to whether they got divorced or married or killed or put in jail or fired or hired...I was just curious about the plotline, so that's something, I guess.

4-0 out of 5 stars Assured and Entertaining
Marge Piercy's compassion and understanding of our human nature is at the forefront of this novel and is its greatest strength. Anyone who defines this generous writer as a Feminist based on "The Longings of Women" has given it a most superficial reading. Three women's stories, each spotlighting a male cad who defines the arc of the women's lives, yet the book is so thoroughly the stories of those women that the men function to move the plot but not to provide easy scapegoats. Piercy doesn't stack the deck for either Leila or Becky as they maneuver their lives' choices around their loutish husbands, so as the book neared its conclusion I found it very exciting. The way Piercy reveals the character of Becky in particular is masterful.Of course, the story of Mary Burke is quite a singular exploration of the homeless, very specific and hard to shake.

4-0 out of 5 stars I will never look at a homeless woman the same way again...
This is not a perfect book. But, again, as always with Marge Piercy, she has a way of putting you right inside the characters. Especially Mary, the homeless woman. Fascinating to read about a woman who lives like a mouse, hidden inside the homes of the people for whom she cleans! And so gut-wrenching to feel what Mary has to go through. Leila, of course, is supposed to be the one most readers can relate to, the one "most like me." And Becky - I can't get with her program - and I am sure we are not supposed to.
The longings of women - obviously Piercy presents what we want as a home of our own. And she writes so well about how easily we can lose "our" homes. Married women - husbands die or we split up with them. Working women - we lose a job and are out on the street. As long as we are dependent on the men in our lives, we are vulnerable. This is not "man-hating", this is reality. Though I am married, and happily, this book makes me want to make sure I have money put away and my name on the deed of the house. And a way to make a living and keep my home if my husband is suddenly gone one day...this could happen to any of us.

4-0 out of 5 stars A book by a woman who understands the pains of other women
Leila; succesful in her career, a failure in her marriage.Mary; once a happily married housewife, now homeless.Becky; from a poor background, is desperate to move up to a rank in society, but is on trial for murder.Animportant book we must all read. ... Read more

18. The Third Child: A Novel
by Marge Piercy
Paperback: 352 Pages (2004-12-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060936037
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Under her mother's constant scrutiny and lost in the shadow of her famous senator father, Melissa is the third child in the politically prominent Dickenson family, where ambition comes first and Melissa often comes last. In college, she meets Blake, a man of mixed race and apparently unknown parentage. His adoptive parents are lawyers whose defense of death-row cases in the past brought them head-to-head with Melissa's father when he was the governor of Pennsylvania.

While Melissa and Blake's attraction is immediate and fiery, a dangerous secret lurks beneath their relationship -- one that could destroy them ... and their families.

Provocative and beautifully written, and dealing with themes of love, honesty, identity, and the consequences of ambition, The Third Child is a remarkable page-turner.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

1-0 out of 5 stars Be careful/NOT up to her usual!
My alltime favorite author, but apparently was under a deadline to produce another book, or someone else wrote it? Poorly written, derivative, embarrassed for her.BUT do read her other books - Vida, He She & It, Woman on the Edge of Time, etc - excellent well-written, character development, etc. - don't waste time on Third Child.

2-0 out of 5 stars Nearly a Complete Waste of Time
I haven't had the chance to read anything else by Marge Piercy and after reading The Third Child I don't think I will.It's good that I picked it up at a thrift store and only paid $1 for it.I spent the entire time reading this book waiting for something interesting to happen.I made it to the last page without having done so.The plot goes nowhere and the characters are empty and sometimes annoying.I won't spoil the book for those truly interested but the ending made me so angry that I actually threw the book.I could sit for an hour explaining all the reasons this book is awful but I am going to go start a good book, White Oleander by Janet Finch.You have been warned.

1-0 out of 5 stars Closing the cover at page 66
I normally enjoy Marge Piercy's work, but this novel, unlike many of her previous stories, smacks of being pushed onto paper to fulfill a contract. The introductory narrative seemed stilted to me, but I ploughed on, hoping that Ms. Piercy's writing skill would shine forth as usual and I would be in for a pleasant read. Not so. The storyline threads are trite, the characters less than real, the dialog amateurish and unappealing. The Freshman English student Melissa, with all her faults, could have done better than Ms. Piercy has on this story.Saying anything more about this novel would be wasting my time - no need to be more specific.At page 66, I closed the cover, put on my shoes, and headed out to return The Third Child to the local library. As another reviewer has suggested, I will try "The Namesake."

2-0 out of 5 stars Amateurish dialogue
As a Piercy fan, I expected more.The plot was well executed, but the dialogue was ridiculous.Many times I just had to laugh at the stilted words spoken by these characters.What happened to Piercy?Was she rushed to get this book on the market?I did finally finish it, but I still can't believe Marge Piecy wrote something so amateurish.

2-0 out of 5 stars So what?
Like many other reviewers here, I've been a Piercy fan for years and years.I've read nearly all of her considerable ouvre.I therefore eagerly greeted this novel, being further excited by the prospect of a main character who would appear to be a bit of stretch for Piercy.Piercy's shtick of the last 20 years--Jewish, artsy female character struggles with sex (but never her sacred identity)-- has gotten just a little tiresome and I was looking forward to seeing one of my favorite authors tackle a new kind of protagonist, this time a neglected, wealthy daughter of WASP political family.

For many chapters, I found the characters interesting if not always compelling and found the increase in dramatic tension very assured, something that Piercy has not always pulled off in her earlier work.The plot truly thickens.

And the characters are truly credible.Our heroine, Melissa,is blinded by passion and the thrill of having a clever, handsome young man choose her for his life partner.When Melissa fails to consider that her partner's, Blake's, agendas are themselves ambivalent--does he want her, or just revenge on her powerful, hideously right-wing father?--we can fully believe in her internal war between love and doubt. (And I found it touching to see how many reviewers think a high SAT score should indicate political awareness and emotional wisdom--fat chance!).

But if this novel shows anything, it shows that merely believable ambivalence is not enough.Although Blake does something at the end of the novel that the reader can see coming but which Melissa is plausibly unaware of, the meaning of his act doesn't resolve into anything.Is he a flawed hero?A manipulative criminal?Piercy doesn't let us in on the secret nor has she built the unfolding of this vital secret into the very structure of the story, something she would have achieved in the past.So, ex-ghetto kid gets his revenge at a terrible price.So what? ... Read more

19. Mars And Her Children
by Marge Piercy
 Hardcover: 165 Pages (1992-04-14)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$16.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067941004X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A selection of poems by the novelist, poet, essayist, reviewer, and the author of Available Light, My Mother's Body, Circles on Water, and Stone, Paper, and Knife features poems about human lives as the century draws to a close. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
The perfect book of poetry for any mood. Although Piercy is a feminist, her poems are balanced, thoughtful and compassionate--also passionate. Ifyou want to give yourself a gift, make it this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars this is a book to be treasured
I bought this book on a whim, and nothing could have been better for me!The poems in here are wonderful, I read them over and over again and always find new meanings. Marge Piercey is a talented woman, and I highlyreccomend this book to anyone who loves intelligent, witty and beautifulprose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Piercy knocks me over
Piercy writes poetry that will touch all of your emotions.Beprepared to get angry, laugh out loud, and maybe cry.Writing aboutevery aspect of life, we learn about her love of nature, writing, herintimates, and her cats.The only thing better than Piercy's collections of poetry is hearing her read her work aloud.This collection is a gift to her readers. ... Read more

20. Vida
by Marge Piercy
Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1985-02-12)
list price: US$6.99
Isbn: 0449208508
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
"This epic story is fueled with intense commitment and sensuousness."
Vida was their star--the beautiful, charismatic radical from the pages of LIFE magazine--the symbol of the passionate rebellion of the sixties. Now, ten years later, the shouting is over, but Vida is still on the run. Staying in Network hideouts, traveling disguised, fearing every glance, she finds her best protection is her distrust of everyone--a lesson learned from past treacheries. And now, knowing the dangers, she finds herself warming again toward a man, an outcast ten years younger than herself.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A tutorial on radical underground operational security
Ever wonder how those people live, those who choose the radical path in our society?Marge Piercy tells you -- I can think of few better novels that show how those long-ago radicals moved around and communicated, back in the day.A couple of Gerald Seymour's books come close.I strongly recommend this novel highly to anyone studying today's radical fringe, be it al-Qaeda or the Euro-rads.Those people don't pull off major actions very often, because so much of their time and energy is devoted to keeping themselves and their associates secure.

5-0 out of 5 stars La Vida Loca
Well, the title character isn't crazy, but the pun was too good to pass up. Vida's life, however, is crazy since she's been on the run for "crimes" committed under the cover of radical activism in the 1960s.

I was moved by how well-imagined the title character and this book are. One does not consider the things that one would have to do or endure to be underground, even here. Vida can't go to a doctor when she needs one, even for mundane things, because she doesn't have health insurance and would need to provide proof of identity. Vida sleeps with people, men and women, (she can't be picky,) because they're providing her with a place to stay. She can't flee the country because she doesn't have a passport. It's heart-wrenching and deeply felt.

Though I don't share the politics that led Vida to her situation, I understand the restless need to *do* *something* in the face of terrible injustice. Vida doesn't get whiney or preachy, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

TK Kenyon
Author of Rabid: A Novel and Callous: A Novel

5-0 out of 5 stars Great reading, the real story, nice for the heart
This is a book I feel ashamed I havent reread in a couple years. Its going into my brief case tommorrow morning to be read furtively at work at lunch, to be devoured again as I have devoured it over and over sinc eI first bought it.I bought this book on a day 21 years ago when I had been turned down for a part time temporary clerical job at a college, a college I now teach at. I didnt know who Marge Piercy was, in fact, I didnt know that if I had called twio or three of my closest friends and comrades they would have told me how I had shared spaces and struggles with Marge, I didnt know I would read in this book about places I had been, or find it modeled after people I had known.
I was broke, unemployed with no unemployment, and looked at two books, the other I forget.Vida was cheaper pennies per page.
Boy am I lucky.Marge's books have kept me going for years, long before I met her, or learned the good things she's done.
This is the innards of what happened in the 1960s, to be sure to people whose politics I don't share, people who in SDS, people who didnt look to the future of the mass struggles but tried individual acts they thought would stimulate the struggle, and then found themselves on the run for decades.However, the human stories, why people resist, why people fight, why people survive, and also how people love both romantically and as comrades in solidarity is shown with candor, realism, and humor.
This book is also a page turner.
Get this book now while its available at reduced prices for used or remaindered books, pennies for page as I did.When young people, working people, women who want freedom, people who want to stop billionaire sponsored wars rise again and fight, this book will be republished, cherished, understood anew.That time is not going to be long.
I am glad I have my Vida to read. Hope you can get 21 years out of uyour copy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great reading, the real story, nice for the heart
This is a book I feel ashamed I havent reread in a couple years. Its going into my brief case tommorrow morning to be read furtively at work at lunch, to be devoured again as I have devoured it over and over sinc eI first bought it.I bought this book on a day 21 years ago when I had been turned down for a part time temporary clerical job at a college, a college I now teach at. I didnt know who Marge Piercy was, in fact, I didnt know that if I had called twio or three of my closest friends and comrades they would have told me how I had shared spaces and struggles with Marge, I didnt know I would read in this book about places I had been, or find it modeled after people I had known.
I was broke, unemployed with no unemployment, and looked at two books, the other I forget.Vida was cheaper pennies per page.
Boy am I lucky.Marge's books have kept me going for years, long before I met her, or learned the good things she's done.
This is the innards of what happened in the 1960s, to be sure to people whose politics I don't share, people who in SDS, people who didnt look to the future of the mass struggles but tried individual acts they thought would stimulate the struggle, and then found themselves on the run for decades.However, the human stories, why people resist, why people fight, why people survive, and also how people love both romantically and as comrades in solidarity is shown with candor, realism, and humor.
This book is also a page turner.
Get this book now while its available at reduced prices for used or remaindered books, pennies for page as I did.When young people, working people, women who want freedom, people who want to stop billionaire sponsored wars rise again and fight, this book will be republished, cherished, understood anew.That time is not going to be long.
I am glad I have my Vida to read. Hope you can get 21 years out of uyour copy! ... Read more

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