Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Fl-Ha)

Gee, Maggie

ice themes family ideas

(British, 1948– )

Gee's first, vividly written experimental novel, Dying in Other Words (1981), made a strong impression. It combines elements of thriller (the heroine is discovered naked and murdered at the start) with blackly comic insights and hypnotically poetic language. Themes of family and romantic love loom large in her more conventional later novels, though these themes are often treated in the context of political ideas. The Burning Book (1983) deals with nuclear war, through the family saga of three generations, whereas The Ice People (1998) is set in the twenty-first century, during a swiftly encroaching ice age. Gee's analysis of the gulf between the sexes here, as fertility plummets and women become increasingly contemptuous of men (who turn to robots for comfort), is plausible and incisive; and the male narrator's quest to save his son is gripping. The combination of big ideas, together with concern for individuals' stories, makes this science fiction with a wide appeal.

Doris Lessing (Mara and Dann), Jenny Diski  JR

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