Upright Women Wanted
by Sarah Gailey
What is it about:
In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.
"That girl's got more wrong notions than a barn owl's got mean looks."
Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her--a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.
The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.
What did I think of it:
After reading American Hippo and Magic For Liars Sarah Gailey became an auto-buy author for me. Their writing style, humor, and stories are totally my jam!
So even though this is a Tor novella and therefor pricey, I preordered this baby so I could have it in my greedy trotters as soon as possible.
And what a cool read!
I really could understand Esther. She comes from a small town where patriarchy and heterosexuality are the norm, and anything outside of the norm is considered wrong. So it's not strange she sees herself as bad, weird, and maybe not deserving to live. I rooted for her to see she is perfect and deserving of happiness, and being who she wants to be instead of who others think she should be.
The librarians and other women she travels with are all very interesting as well. All have secrets for the fascist and restricting country they live in, and all have their own way of dealing with it. I loved how different ways of fighting oppression were shown in this story, and how each affect you and those around you.
This is a story that made me cry, smile, and hope, and that I can recommend to anyone looking for a powerful story about resistance, identity, and queer librarian spies.
Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful and powerful novella.
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