BIG GIRL by Meg Elison
“There's nothing better for writing a novel than rage,” says Meg Elison, one of science fiction’s fearless new “bad girls” who delight in the transgressive, and who dares gainsay her? Her debut novel won the Philip K. Dick award and led off a series that has lodged her on the Tiptree shortlist. She’s already too big to go unnoticed.
Her stories contain both rage and humor in an effective if uneasy mix. As droll as it is tall, “Big Girl” applies journalism’s clueless prose to the hormonal horrors of growing up. First published here, “Such People in It” celebrates the courage of cowardice in nightclubbing and life. Our almost-novella “The Pill” promises to change women’s lives as much as The Pill itself did, only this capsule comes complete with screams. “El Hugé” is an explosive new take on teen romance. “Gone with Gone with the Wind” explores the varieties of privilege in late Confederate America. Then of course there’s “Guts.” Turns out you either got ’em or you don’t. And in “Sprawling into the Unknown,” our intriguingly Outspoken Interview, Nell Zink, lesbian gun clubs, and Asimov’s unwelcome advances all fly economy class.
“Elison offers a troubling yet hopeful vision of the future.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books
“A strikingly powerful story of one woman’s physical and emotional resourcefulness under the most dire of circumstances. An apocalyptic page-turner that picks up where Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale left off.”
—Jackie Hatton, Tor.com
“I could talk about female empowerment, body positivity, and gender flexibility. But those terms are wholly inadequate for Meg Elison’s clear-eyed satire in the guise of fantasy and science fiction. Powered by rage, incandescent with a deep understanding of injustice, angry for all the right reasons, yet still essentially optimistic, these are the stories I need to keep me warm through the long dark night. Compelling and fierce and unstoppable.”
—Pat Murphy, World Fantasy Award winner
“Meg Elison’s stories will raise blisters on your conscience. Her politics are smart, her prose is like a razor, and her characters will break your heart. Read at your own risk.”
—Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous
“Meg Elison’s work is visceral and compelling. A voice that doesn’t so much demand attention as it 100 percent deserves every ounce of it.”
—Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Hugo-winning writer and editor
Meg Elison is a San Francisco Bay Area author. Her debut novel, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife won the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award and was a Tiptree longlist mention that same year. It was reissued in 2016 and was on the Best of the Year lists from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, PBS, and more. Her second novel was also a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. Elison was the spring 2019 Clayton B. Ofstad endowed distinguished writer-in-residence at Truman State University, and is a coproducer of the monthly reading series Cliterary Salon.