The Atlantic

Red Clocks Imagines America Without Abortion

A new novel by Leni Zumas is both a compelling speculative work and a deeply considered analysis of what it means to live in a woman’s body.
Source: AP

The America in Leni Zumas’s new novel, , is so familiar as to be almost unremarkable. Ro, a history teacher, has a father in a retirement home in Florida and a brother who died of a heroin overdose. Susan, a mother, raises two children in the house she grew up in. Gin, a loner, is defiantly private but offers home remedies to local women with health issues but no money or insurance. Mattie, a teenager, loses her virginity to a confident and callous classmate who’s unconcerned with her comfort and doesn’t wear protection. The only tweak Zumas has made is that in the world of her book abortion has been criminalized in the U.S., an occurrence introduced so quietly and so plausibly that it isn’t even startling—just another calamity for women to add

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