The Power (Hardcover)
One of the New York Times's Ten Best Books of 2017
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power?
In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.
From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, THE POWER is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.
About the Author
Naomi Alderman is the author of The Liars' Gospel and Disobedience, which won the Orange Prize for New Writers, has been published in 10 languages, and is being made into a film by Rachel Weisz.
She was selected for Granta's once-a-decade list of Best of Young British Novelists and was chosen by Margaret Atwood to be part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. She is the co-creator and lead writer of the bestselling smartphone audio adventure app, Zombies, Run! She contributes regularly to the Guardian and presents Science Stories on BBC Radio 4. She lives in London.
Praise for THE POWER:
a classic, in the way that it's hard to imagine it ever wasn't there."
"Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you'll think twice, about everything."
"For diversion (also important in these times), I highly recommend two writers of speculative fiction, Charlie Jane Anders and Naomi Alderman."
—Ayelet Waldman, "By the Book" column, New York Times Book Review
"I was riveted by every page. Alderman's prose
is immersive and, well, electric, and I felt a closed circuit humming between
the book and me as I read."—Amal El-Mohtar, New York Times Book Review
"The Hunger Games crossed with The Handmaid's Tale."
"Narratively complex, philosophically searching,
and gorgeously rendered."—Lisa Shea, Elle
"Sometimes lightning does strike the same place
twice. Sometimes it strikes a whole bunch of times. In Orange Award winner
Naomi Alderman's chilling The Power, women across the globe discover a sudden ability to harness
their aggression by inflicting electric shocks through their fingertips. Fans
of speculative fiction (see also: Margaret Atwood and Ben Marcus) about
empowered youth will be struck by Alderman's speedy and thorough inhabitation
of a world just different enough from ours to jolt the imagination. Mothers,
lock up your boys."—Sloane Crosley, Vanity Fair
doesn't necessarily hold the answers to what organizing principle we should
rally around instead...It does audaciously depict, however, the most extreme
results of a movement that seeks rather than interrogates power: That if
feminism has become a means for domination, it has lost its way."—Bridget Read, Vogue
"Richly imagined, ambitious, and propulsively
written."—Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic
"The Power is a subtly funny, lyrical and utterly subversive vision of an impossible future. As all the best visionaries do, Alderman shines a penetrating and yet merciful light on to our present and the so many cruelties in which we may be complicit."—A.L. Kennedy
"A thriller that terrifies and leaves behind a
lingering tingle that's part discomfort and part exhilaration. Easy to read,
hard to put down, difficult to forget."—Cory Doctorow, author of Walkaway
Fierce and unsettling...Through immersive prose and a riveting plot, Alderman explores how power corrupts everyone: those who gain it, and those resisting its loss."—Radhika Jones, New York Times Book Review
"The Power is at once as streamlined as a
90-minute action film and as weirdly resonate as one of Atwood's own early
fictions... Alderman has conducted a brilliant thought experiment in the nature
of power itself...Turning the world inside out, she reveals how one of the
greatest hallmarks of power is the chance to create a mythology around how that
power was used. In that sense, The Power is a testament to its own force
- it begins and ends in the voice of the author herself - as if to say,
lightning would be nice, but for now - and here - there's the pen. It can do a
lot."—John Freeman, Boston Globe
"Alderman has written our era's Handmaid's Tale, and, like Margaret Atwood's classic, The Power is one of those essential
feminist works that terrifies and illuminates, enrages and encourages....This
book sparks with such electric satire that you should read it wearing insulated
gloves."—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
"Bold and disturbing...it's
not just a book of the moment. The Power is a major innovation in the
overlapping genres of feminist dystopia/utopia, science fiction, and
speculative fiction."—Elaine Showalter, New York Review of Books
"Novels based on premises like the one at the core of The
Power can quickly become little more than thought experiments, but Alderman
dodges this trap deftly -- her writing is beautiful, and her intelligence seems
almost limitless. She also has a pitch-dark sense of humor that she wields
perfectly."—Michael Schaub, NPR
"Fascinating....as a whole the narrative feels ingenious....deserves to be read by every woman (and, for that matter, every man)."
—The Times UK
"By gleefully replacing the protocols of one gender with another, Alderman has created a thrilling narrative stuffed with provocative scenarios and thought experiments. The Power is a blast."
—Suzi Feay, Financial Times UK
"Gripping and disturbing, it pushes the reader -- even the confidently feminist reader -- to question the assumptions underlying many of the mechanisms that drive relationships between women and men."
—Harper's Bazaar UK
"Alderman is a fluent and powerful writer."
—Sunday Times UK
"Alderman's tilted dystopia is a smartly layered place of slippery slopes and moral ambiguities, a fitting folktale for strange times."—Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
"When we say that The Power is profoundly disturbing and you may well want to argue with it as you read, we mean that in a good way."
—SFX, Five Stars
"An instant classic of speculative fiction....Smart, readable and joyously achieved."
—Justine Jordan, Guardian UK
"Alderman has the daring and good sense to
eschew go-girl uplift in favor of terrifying and complex dystopia."—Boris Kachka, Vulture
After making waves in the U.K., this outstanding book is finally coming stateside. Alderman imagines a world much like ours, with one difference: teenage girls suddenly have the ability to electrocute people. This is the perfect read if you've been itching for something to get you through to season two of The Handmaid's Tale.—Melissa Ragsdale, Bustle
"A brash sci-fi fantasy, clever and coarse, calculated and hectic."
"A raw, gutsy slice of speculative dystopia."
has built a suspenseful thrill ride filled with deep, contrasting female leads
on a scaffolding of philosophical questions about how different men and women
are at heart....Reminiscent of the work of Alderman's mentor Margaret Atwood, The
Power is perfect for book clubs, where readers will undoubtedly debate the
finer points of nature versus nurture."—Jaclyn Fulwood, Shelf Awareness Pro
"Like the best science fiction, this dystopian feminist fantasy holds up a mirror to the here and now."
—Mail on Sunday UK
"The Handmaid's Tale for the Gone Girl generation."
"The Power is the stuff of superhero fiction....What starts out as a fantasy of female empowerment deepens and darkens into an interrogation of power itself, its uses and abuses and what it does to the people who have it....her breakout work."
—Claire Armitstead, The Guardian
"A feminist science-fiction story that's about to make waves."
"This is a thriller that terrifies and leaves behind a
lingering tingle that's part discomfort and part exhilaration. Easy to read,
hard to put down, difficult to forget."—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
"As awesome as it is compulsive."
"Please, please, PLEASE read Naomi Alderman's The Power. It'll crack your brain open in all the right ways. Such an important, timely book."
—Literary Death Match
"A page-turning thriller and timely exploration of gender roles, censorship and repressive political regimes, The Power is a must-read for today's times."—Lauren Bufferd, BookPage
"Alderman's storytelling is visceral and brave; you'll stay up all night reading after a thousand deals with the clock that you'll put it down after just a few more pages. Gleeful, intelligent, clever, and unflinching, The Power is the kind of book to keep a person going."—Fiona Zublin, Ozy
"Alderman brings an original approach to her storytelling that will jolt readers like a bolt from the blue."—BookPage
"A searing critique of how power is used in a world in which a long-oppressed class can suddenly fight back."—Renay Williams, Barnes & Noble Blog