Friday, February 3, 2023

Beginning ~ with a strange encounter


On a gray, cold, soggy Tibetan plateau stood glaring at one another two white people — a man and a woman.  With the first, a group of peasants; with the second, the guides and carriers of a well-equipped exploring party.

The man wore the dress of a peasant, but around him was a leather belt — old, worn, battered — but a recognizable belt of no Asiatic pattern, and showing a heavy buckle made in twisted initials.

The woman's eye had caught the sunlight on this buckle before she saw that the heavily bearded face under the hood was white.  She pressed forward to look at it.

"Where did you get that belt?" she cried, turning for the interpreter to urge her question.

The man had caught her voice, her words.  He threw back his hood and looked at her, with a strange blank look, as of one listening to something far away.

"John!" she cried.  "John!  My Brother!"  He lifted a groping hand to his head, made a confused noise that ended in almost a shout of "Nellie!" reeled and fell backward.

Moving the Mountain ~ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 2015, SF (speculative fiction), 112 pages

This first book in Gilman's well known Herland trilogy delivers her program for reforming society.  She concentrates on measures of rationality and efficiency that could be instituted in her own time, largely with greater social cooperation — equal education and treatment for girls and boys, day-care centers for working women, and other issues still relevant a century later.  Yet Gilman also allows for technological progress:  electric power is the motive force in industry and urban society, power generated largely by the tides, wind-mills, water mills, and solar engines.

Herland is one of my favorite books, one I've read over and over.  So I bought the whole trilogy for my Kindle and have started reading this first one.  I shared a long beginning, but I think it's appropriate for this particular book.

UPDATE to correct your misunderstanding:
The Herland Trilogy does NOT start with Herland., which is the book Charlotte Perkins Gilman is famous for.  Here's the order:  (1) Moving the Mountain, (2) Herland, (3) With Her in Ourland.  When I read and re-read Herland (the middle of the three), I had never heard of the other two.  The middle one of the three was a favorite.  When I learned about the other two, I ordered the whole set for my Kindle.  I don't know yet whether I'll like the first and third as well as that middle one.
Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts
Book Beginnings on Fridays.


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I like how you chose to feature one of your favorite books. I'll add this one to my list.

Cindy said...

I hope you enjoy this one! Have a great weekend!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Deb, HERLAND was the favorite mentioned here. MOVING THE MOUNTAIN is her first book, which I have never read until now.

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

If someone loves a book and rereads it it tells me a lot about it. Glad you are enjoying it.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Deb and Anne, read what I just added to the post to correct the misunderstanding. There are THREE books, and the only one I've read previously is the middle one: HERLAND.

Literary Feline said...

I hope this one will be as wonderful for you as the Herland was. I am glad you shared so much of the intro of Moving the Mountain. I already want to read more! Have a great weekend!