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A Woman of the Future is a both a multilayered political screed and an extended version of the aristocrats joke It rewards the patience and curiosity of the reader. Not really holding my interest at the moment Finally done I only finished this because I kept hoping it might finally get interesting The premise was sort of interesting But really, I shouldn t have bothered. I simply loved this unique and controversial Australian novel, winner of the 1979 Miles Franklin Award.It has been suggested that such a frank and uncompromising novel might not even be published today, let alone win such a prestigious literary award, but I d hate to think that publishers are so staid and risk averse that something so unique and insightful would be overlooked and unable to find a market The titular woman of the future is Alathea Hunt, and her story is told in the first person, p I simply loved this unique and controversial Australian novel, winner of the 1979 Miles Franklin Award.It has been suggested that such a frank and uncompromising novel might not even be published today, let alone win such a prestigious literary award, but I d hate to think that publishers are so staid and risk averse that something so unique and insightful would be overlooked and unable to find a market The titular woman of the future is Alathea Hunt, and her story is told in the first person, presented as a series of notes or diary entries, documenting the life of this remarkable girl from conception to the age of sixteen.Alathea is an unusual and intense girl, not always particularly likable, with plenty to say She is highly intelligent, athletic and healthy, and is a high achiever at school both academically and in various sports She is artistic in both visual and written mediums, to a level that draws frequent praise from her teachers and others.But she is brash, questioning and challenging, has many visions and thoughts about what her adult life might be like her withdrawn mother insisted from the beginning that Alathea would be someone special , and she has little tolerance of others.Her natural curiosity leads her to examine her father s penis in fine detail when the opportunity presents, in scenes that are both unsettling and awkwardly humorous, and she also finds pleasure in the examination of her own developing body.And, when she reaches a certain age, she experiments with sex relentlessly and indiscriminately.It is the extensive and frank sexual content that makes the novel so controversial and distasteful to some Alathea s descriptions of her sexual encounters are mostly matter of fact, bleak, detailed but anything but titillating She is mostly emotionally removed from what is happening to her body.Despite her willingness the grant sexual favours to almost any boy or man who asks, she is also gang raped on at least two occasions in scenes that are disturbing and chilling.Despite her sexual proclivity, what Alathea wants, and cannot find, is love She just wants to feel loved, and when she finally feels something that might just be love, she considers it an illness.Ultimately, Alathea scorns boys and the whole male race, except for her father She considers men stupid for thinking they have won some sort of conquest or prize when a woman shares her much sought after body, but Alathea understands that sharing her body involves giving nothing of her real self Men are losers in her transactional view of sexual congress.Through Alathea, Ireland has plenty to say, although not at great length on any particular topic, about Australian culture, and particularly that of youth, although many themes are universal He touches on class differences, multiculturalism in a way that was ahead of his time , the Australian love for coastal living and disdain for the interior, the world of work and, of course, sexual politics.He refuses to moralise strongly about any of these things, just pointing out ironies and quirks, and he especially never judges Alathea s thoughts, actions and behaviours.At times, the novel strays into the world of the surreal, with repeated anecdotes about individuals who have various plants or animals growing out of their bodies If I have a criticism, I think Ireland went to this bizarre well too many times.Alathea Hunt might be precocious, promiscuous, occasionally intolerant, but at heart she is like every other girl striving to grow up to womanhood, understand life and its challenges, dealing with doubts and trying to understand her place in a world that is still dominated by stupid men.And certainly, Alathea Hunt is not easily forgettable She is a literary character that will stay with me for a long time.I found this novel, written in the 1970s, at the tail end of the first wave of radical feminism, just as relevant in today s MeToo world.David Ireland is, I think, one of Australia s finest ever writers, who has been sadly overlooked and undervalued Many thanks to Text Classics for resurrecting some of his out of print works for modern readers There is a good book within this book, but it is tiresome to get at it The last third is farengaging than the previous two thirds as the mise en scene vignettes which are often dull, repetitive or frustratingly silly recede and the narrative of the titular character, Alethea Hunt, woman of the future, takes off Much of it concerns Hunt s sexual awakening and exploits but it is rarely titilating and the satire of this section often hits home For a reader interested in Ireland, I wouldn There is a good book within this book, but it is tiresome to get at it The last third is farengaging than the previous two thirds as the mise en scene vignettes which are often dull, repetitive or frustratingly silly recede and the narrative of the titular character, Alethea Hunt, woman of the future, takes off Much of it concerns Hunt s sexual awakening and exploits but it is rarely titilating and the satire of this section often hits home For a reader interested in Ireland, I wouldn t start here as the novel is terrifically uneven I didn t read much as a child but at 18 I started reading anything i could lay my hands on This book was among a handful of books that turned me into an avid reader It was quirky and adventurous and it stretched the imagination in a way that many books don t It s been almost 40 years and I don t remember the plot at all, but I do remember the buzz that it produced in my brain. i didnt really understand it, but i can see why not many women liked it So my review was lost, boo What stays with me all this time is the end Maybe you ll see it coming, but maybe not. *READ DOWNLOAD ☔ A Woman Of The Future ⇡ These notebooks, diaries and papers were found among the effects of Alethea Hunt, and are reproduced by kind permission of her father We publish them without alteration Many of the pages contain no hint of the date of writing, but we believe, from the handwriting, that those dealing with her childhood and infancy, and some of the explanatory and reflective pages, were written after she began to find evidence of her changeSome pages had the year of her age on them and were arranged in chronological order Where she left headings we have shown them where not, we have used the first phrase or so of her notes We have no idea of where she wanted to insert her various general remarks, so we have placed them throughout in the order in which she left them Not many books like this come along in your life It s incredible really, written in an incredibly literary, artful way and loaded with bizarre metaphors, absurd human growths, grotesque and surreal depictions and a healthy, ravishing analysis of the structure of society It s also full to the brim with sex, and sex of the disturbing sort, to be honest It s pretty confronting and some of it isn t pleasant reading either But this is a phenomenal book, even if the second half of it overdoes the Not many books like this come along in your life It s incredible really, written in an incredibly literary, artful way and loaded with bizarre metaphors, absurd human growths, grotesque and surreal depictions and a healthy, ravishing analysis of the structure of society It s also full to the brim with sex, and sex of the disturbing sort, to be honest It s pretty confronting and some of it isn t pleasant reading either But this is a phenomenal book, even if the second half of it overdoes the sex somewhat, and I m astonished that David Ireland disappeared somewhat after winning the Miles Franklin with this and other titles Worth reading, pretty damn screwy You re not likely to forget it quickly Miles Franklin winner from 1979, Age book of the Year 1980, what could go wrong Well have you ever heard of it It showcases the very worst of 70 s self indulgence Simplistic politics tick, dystopian world tick, objects growing out of people tick, a sick bag of pointless quirky characters tick Just don t bother I couldn t even be bothered getting to the confronting and controversial the abrasive or the epic Epic fail only saved from single star result as the grammar was ni Miles Franklin winner from 1979, Age book of the Year 1980, what could go wrong Well have you ever heard of it It showcases the very worst of 70 s self indulgence Simplistic politics tick, dystopian world tick, objects growing out of people tick, a sick bag of pointless quirky characters tick Just don t bother I couldn t even be bothered getting to the confronting and controversial the abrasive or the epic Epic fail only saved from single star result as the grammar was nice and the occasional image was well structured