Review of Pratchett’s Women by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Pratchett's Women by Tansy Rayner RobertsPratchett’s Women is a really enjoyable essay collection on the women in several of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. I love the Discworld to bits, and Roberts’ honest, soul-searching, and massively enthusiastic take on how female characters are portrayed in the Discworld universe is an excellent read. She’s a huge fan of the novels, too, but she doesn’t hesitate to point out the places where Pratchett’s handling of female characters doesn’t work. Roberts also explores how her responses to the novels have changed over time as her ideas about feminism have developed. This personal dimension to the essays adds interest and encourages the reader to have the same (very important!) kinds of conversations with herself. It’s been decades since I’ve read the early Discworld novels, and Roberts’ look back over the whole of the series was enlightening for me. Like her, I began reading Pratchett when I was much younger. When I was a teenager reading the early series, I just didn’t have the life and reading experience to notice some of the problematic things she points out. She’s convinced me that it’s probably time for a reread and reexamination of some of my early favorites in the series. Recommended reading for any Discworld fan.

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