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Fiction Political

The Y Chromosome

by (author) Leona Gom

Cormorant Books
Initial publish date
May 2019
Political, Dystopian, Literary, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 1990
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2019
    List Price

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The Y Chromosome challenges the reader to meet an all-woman society of the future. The few remaining men live in hiding. When one of these men is discovered, the resulting conflict threatens both worlds. The futurist society was developed by necessity and is far from perfect, but it now abhors its male-dominated past, where violence escalated to an extreme. The journals of a man who lived during The Change reveal the desperate turmoil and anger of a world facing the extinction of half its members. The journals are now part of university history courses, leading to assessments of the past that are both ironic and disturbing. Despite its striking differences to our world today, there are uncomfortable similarities. Taut and gripping, a page turner at its very best, the novel asks important and fundamental questions about who we are as women and men and what we will do to survive. Originally written and published thirty years ago to enthusiastic reviews, The Y Chromosome is even more relevant today.

About the author

Leona Gom is the author of 13 books of fiction and poetry, and has been published extensively in journals and anthologies in Canada, the US, England, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Australia and New Zealand. She has also given hundreds of readings, lectures and workshops on writing. In 1980 her book Land of the Peace won the CAA Award for best book of poetry of the year and was short-listed for the Pat Lowther Award. In 1986 her novel Housebroken was awarded the Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction. She has also had two full-length radio plays, The Inheritance and Sour Air, produced by CBC, and one of her novels has recently been optioned for a movie.

Leona Gom's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Gom's courageous third novel dares to challenge misogynists and feminists alike. The Y Chromosome is compellingly written; its taut prose seldom falters. Gom's even-handed treatment of both male and female characters and her refusal to descend into caricature or diatribe make her novel a powerful exploration of the complexity of the gender-difference issue."

The Edmonton Journal

"This is not another novel to be miscast as 'another woman's book,' but rather one that deserves a slow and carefule read from readers of both sexes."

The Globe and Mail

"The Y Chromosome has all the makings of a political bombshell. Gom is a writer with a brilliant gift for narrative. The book's plot powers along at breakneck speed. It is going to provoke quite a storm."

NOW Magazine

"B.C. writer Gom's first foray into science fiction — set in the distant future, hundreds of years after men have been wiped out by a sex-specific virus — is a well-written story about such universal matters as love and hate."

The Globe and Mail

"Gom's novel affords a well-crafted platform for thoughtful, gentle and at times quite witty reflection ... It has a good balance of elements: nicely paced suspense, believable characters, and provocative social commentary."

B.C. Report

"A chilling depiction. Reviewers, both male and female, have praised her attempt to balance gender portrayals in her novel."

Toronto Star

"I really had a good time with this book. I really found myself involved with it."


"Frequently, sci-fi and futuristic fiction is devoid of the real substance that makes writing exciting. Gom's novel is given the grace of humanity. It is the predictable nature of compassion and jealousy, parental love, that give this book its credibility. Her future society, often self-righteous and self-serving like any functioning Utopia, is treated with gentle satire."

The Vancouver Sun

"If you, as a male, have ever wondered how the unequal power between women and men could possibly tilt a sexual relationship in the man's favor, then read this book. If, as a woman, you have ever had trouble explaining to a man how inequality gets carried over to the bedroom, get this book ... It deserves to be as widely read and widely discussed as The Handmaid's Tale."

The Kingston Whig-Standard

"Find it, read it, and weep — no matter your sex."

The Sun Times

"The Y Chromosome is really just one dandy novel, a page-turner."

Victoria Times-Colonist

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