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Fiction General

Half Known Lives

by (author) Joan Givner

New Star Books
Initial publish date
Nov 2000
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2000
    List Price

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Out of print

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Would an ardent male right?to?lifer change his tune if he found out he was pregnant? Thanks to advances in biotechnology, the female protagonists of Half Known Lives experiment with a fine upstanding citizen of their prairie city. They take Max Hoffman hostage, impregnate him, and keep him prisoner for the duration of the pregnancy. But the women's close knit sisterhood will fray to reveal the envy, resentment and hostility concealed beneath their solidarity. Max's pregnancy changes the lives of all involved — each of the women, Max, and not least, the foetus.

This mordant novel traces the consequences of the experiment to the end of the characters? lives. Expertly playing off multiple viewpoints, Givner skewers sacred beef, feminist and reactionary alike, ensnaring us by turns in narrative distortion and scalding satire.

About the author

Joan Givner was born in Manchester, England, in 1936. After studying at London University and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, she began teaching at the Unviersity of Regina in 1965; later she edited the Wascana Review. She has published biographies of Katherine Anne Porter (1982) and Mazo de la Roche (1989) and two collections of stories, most recently Scenes from Provincial Life (1991). "Elizabeth," a prize winner in the 1991 CBC Canadian Literary Awards, was published in a Joan Givner Special Issue of Room of One's Own in 1992.

Joan Givner's profile page

Other titles by Joan Givner