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The Power author Naomi Alderman talks patriarchy and revenge with the Vox Book Club

Alderman explains how to build a world in a live Zoom interview with our book critic.

Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

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In March, the Vox Book Club read Naomi Alderman’s The Power, a dizzying thought experiment of sorts, about a world in which women en masse develop the power to produce electric shocks out of their hands, like eels. Part revenge fantasy, part meditation on the nature of strength, The Power is a brutal and devastating read that delves into all the ways that the fear of violence undergirds our existing power structures.

At the end of the month, we met up with Alderman live on Zoom for an in-depth conversation. We talked about world building, misogyny, the upcoming Power TV adaptation, and why literary fiction is so obsessed with making sex scenes painful. You can relive our full conversation in the (fully captioned!) video above.

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