When Women Were Dragons
June 12, 2022 2:49 PM - Subscribe

A rollicking feminist tale set in 1950s America where thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons, exploding notions of a woman's place in the world and expanding minds about accepting others for who they really are. - The first adult novel by the Newbery award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a trail of fiery destruction in their path; and took to the skies. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex's beloved aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn't know. It's taboo to speak of.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit (4 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Couldn't sleep and this was on my reading list. Downloaded it around 2:45am and immediately fell in love with this book. Finished it around 1pm today.

Also there is a delightful line about being from Wisconsin. There are many wonderful passages in this book, but that's the one that sticks out to me the most at the moment. I expect I'll be rereading this soon.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:56 PM on June 12, 2022

This sounds like exactly the kind of book I love- I've added it to my list, thank you!
posted by Bibliogeek at 9:38 AM on June 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

I will probably read this. I am on board for women turning into dragons!

Right now I'm trying to remember the name of a short story:
set in China, older women who didn't have enough money were sent on a walk with the expectation that they would be eaten by the dragons that could be seen from the town.
A wealthy older woman goes in place of a poorer one, and (eventually) learns that the dragons were all women and she can turn into one if she chooses.

Does that ring a bell with anyone? It was probably in a scifi anthology.
posted by Acari at 11:50 AM on June 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

I raced through this book and have already started gifting copies to friends. It was just what I needed right now.

A few bits from the book that I highlighted as I read:

“Embarrassment, as it turns out, is more powerful than information. And shame is the enemy of truth.”

“There were some devourings during those brief hours at the outset, when the dragons, still astonished at their transformations, and wildly acclimating to the needs and modifications of a body that had become so large and sharp and shiny, had perhaps overstepped a bit. No babies or children were devoured—though the televangelists claimed, and still claim, otherwise. However, more than six thousand husbands did find themselves swallowed, and another eighteen thousand or so suffered severe burns after their office buildings burned down. Also among the dead: 552 obstetricians; more than six thousand pastors, ministers, rabbis, imams, and priests of various denominations; several score of youth workers; twenty-seven entire parent-teacher associations across nine states; and dozens of office managers, factory foremen, politicians, and police detectives (this is how it became obvious that dragons are bulletproof), not to mention a goodly sum of retired teachers and school counselors.”

“The skies are full of promise. You are less alone than you think.”
posted by TEA at 6:45 PM on June 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

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