Friday, November 11, 2016

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife & the Old World Old Fashioned

Author Meg Elison is here on the playground today crafting old world Old-Fashioneds in new ways. It's all to celebrate her novel, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife which won the 2014 Phillip K. Dick Award, but I'll let her tell you all about it...  

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife is a gendered dystopia. Imagine a world where there is only one woman left for every ten men. That's easy for most women, because a lot of us have spent time in male-dominated spaces. Extrapolate that to the dire extreme, and that's the world that my protagonist is fighting her way across, usually dressed in drag and passing as a man. The midwife has to decide who can be friends, who must be foes, and if there is any good she can do in a broken world. Armed with birth control, she tries to save the few women that are left from bondage at death.

It's enough to make anybody want a stiff drink. 

The drink that I've prepared to accompany my book is a variation on the Old Fashioned. It's a hard drink for a hard world;  the kind of thing a woman might order when she wants something brown and burning but still also pretend to be sociable. It consists of only preserved ingredients, meaning it could be made by someone living in a dystopia without trade or refrigeration. If a survivor of the apocalypse lived somewhere they could chip their own ice, this would work. It's tough and bitter and bright like life, and there's something like a happy ending lost in the bottom.

The Old-World Old Fashioned: 
chip a few large chunks of ice off any nearby frozen object. Put them in your jar and pray the water was clean. Pour out two generous shots of brown liquor; this particular raider found a case of Bulleit Rye. Give it a couple shakes of your precious Angostura bitters, and remember that it's the only vitamin C you'll get this winter unless you find some supplements or learn to make sauerkraut. There are no oranges where you are. You'll never eat a banana again. Try not to think about it. Drop one preserved brandied cherry in the glass. When you finish, you'll get a little something sweet and some extra calories. It's almost like a happy ending, but remember that most of them have pits. You can't let your guard down, not ever. You can only drink one. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like such a great book. Definitely have to add it to the TBR list!