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Upright Women Wanted

by Sarah Gailey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7865924,229 (3.64)60
"Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her-a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing"--… (more)
  1. 00
    The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe (Othemts)
  2. 00
    Triggernometry: A new western novella from Stark Holborn by Stark Holborn (Anonymous user)
  3. 12
    The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (raidergirl3)
    raidergirl3: Both books are about female librarians bringing info to isolated women. Giver of Stars is based in the past in Kentucky and Upright Women Wanted is futuristic.
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» See also 60 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Perfection. I loved every single page. This would make a great series. More please!!!! ( )
  Tosta | Sep 18, 2022 |
But as soon as Cye walked away, everything fell out of Esther's mind save for the repetitive movement of the braiding and the question Cye had left her with. Not the question Cye had asked--do you believe everything you read?--but the real question they hadn't asked: why do you believe everything you read? ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Sep 10, 2022 |
I wanted to like this book. The cross-genre western / future distopia / LGBQT romance / subversive librarians fighting against injustice. It had the potential to be really entertaining.

Instead (and I may be in the minority here) it was flat, plodding and boring. I really got the visceral sense of riding a horse across the monotonous Arizona desert - and not in any sort of good way.

This book was short, but took me a while to read. I just couldn't get into more than a page or two before turning to an alternate book to read. ( )
  sriddell | Aug 6, 2022 |
This is another recently published book that would have been a huge deal in my teens if I'd been able to come across it. I doubt my school or public library would have offered it if anything like had been published 25 years ago. Perhaps not many do now.

Fortunately, though, Upright Women Wanted is becoming outdated, despite the surge in efforts to censor queer fiction. The main point is that queer people don't have to die--not within stories and not in real life. Neither do women who decide on their own what to do with their lives. There are other options. There's hope even where women who love women must hide. More works are being created, released, and widely shared that show happy endings.

Other than providing that message of hope, this book is subversive in focusing almost entirely on women in a somewhat typical Western story. There are twists in the settings, mainly that this appears to take place a near future that's reverted to the American Old West. Some of our current technology continues to exist but is difficult to come by as well as difficult to use. The main characters talk of cars and look at medical equipment we might see in hospitals today. They have jobs based in actual history. However, the books is mostly made up of the stereotypical Western lingo, tropes, and themes. The Librarians wear the expected clothes. They travel by foot, horses, and a wagon like expected in the genre. They fight bandits and sheriffs. Just, they're doing it all without men, the dominant force in Westerns. And none are prostitutes, nor girls stolen from a native tribe.

I'm glad this book exists. ( )
  aspirit | Jul 25, 2022 |
Part of the blurb of this book says “The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.” If that captures your interest, you will not be disappointed. I loved the Western vibe, the characters, and the storytelling. This book was exactly the right length and ended in a way that tied off the story thread but left the door open for more about this world. Interestingly, I felt it had a bit of The Chrysalids in its plot, in the sense that there is an authoritarian state, people feel compelled to suppress something natural about them that is deemed deviant by society, and they are discovering pockets of resistance to help them fight the good fight. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Apr 30, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
"Gailey’s gorgeous writing and authentic characters make this slim volume a pure delight."
added by jagraham684 | editPublisher's Weekly (Oct 30, 2019)
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Gaileyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Staehle, WillCover art & designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To everyone who thought they'd never live this long
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As Esther breathed in the sweet, musty smell of the horse blankets in the back of the Librarians' wagon, she chewed on the I-told-you-so feeling that had overwhelmed her ever since her father had told her the news about Beatriz.
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"Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her-a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing"--

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