The Power Background

The Power Background

The Power is a science fiction novel written in 2016 by British writer Naomi Alderman. It is set in a matriarchal society where women have enhanced powers, one of which is the ability to harness jolts of electricity from the tips of their fingers. The book's narrative is not written in the traditional way; instead it is presented as a one thousand year old manuscript within the book itself, discovered by an historical author and given to another author who happens to be called Naomi. We presume this author to be Naomi Alderman, although it is never actually stated.

The idea of a matriarchal society began to build in the imagination of Alderman after she was inspired by Canadian author, Margaret Atwood, whose novel, A Handmaid's Tale, is the most famous book to have a matriarchal society at its core. Alderman applied for a mentorship with Atwood because she was a huge fan, and was selected to participate in the Rolex Mentorship Program where she was partnered with Atwood. Alderman also credits her orthodox Jewish upbringing and education for making her aware of the enormous gulf of opportunity that exists between men and women and also the negative way in which women are still viewed as inferior because society teaches children from a young age that this is so. Writing The Power was Alderman's reaction and her antidote to what she saw as a very chauvinistic society around her.

The book was an immediate success critically and commercially, winning the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction in 2017. It is also set to be adapted for television by Jane Featherstone, a British television producer whose company is dedicated to producing female-led dramatic content.

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