Meg Elison

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Meg Elison
Elison, at the San Francisco pop-up art exhibit Color Factory, 2017.
Elison, at the San Francisco pop-up art exhibit Color Factory, 2017.
Born (1982-05-10) May 10, 1982 (age 38)
ResidenceOakland, California
Alma materMount San Jacinto College; UC Berkeley

Meg Elison is an American author and feminist essayist whose writings often incorporate the themes of female empowerment, body positivity, and gender flexibility. Her debut novel, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, won the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award, and her second novel, The Book of Etta, was nominated for the award in 2017.[1] Elison's work has appeared in several markets, including Fantasy & Science Fiction,[2] Terraform,[3] McSweeney's Internet Tendency,[4] Catapult,[5] and Electric Literature.[6]



The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (June 2014) is a feminist post-apocalyptic examination of the plight of women after a global epidemic. Written primarily in a journal format, the book follows one surviving medical worker as she struggles to find civilization and to provide birth control and medical care to the women that she meets.[7]

The Book of Etta (February 2017) revisits the community of plague survivors several generations later as a female protagonist strikes out against an oppressive male-dominated regime.[8]

The third and final book of the series, The Book of Flora (April 2019), continues the story through the memories of Flora, a woman who was a sex slave.[9]


Philip K. Dick Award (Winner: The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, 2014)

Philip K. Dick Award (Nominated: The Book of Etta, 2017)


A high school dropout, Elison advanced through the California community college system and eventually graduated from UC Berkeley. She has written and spoken extensively on the poverty and early queer identity that came to inform much of her work.[10]


  1. ^ "Gender and the Apocalypse - Los Angeles Review of Books".
  2. ^ "Interview: Meg Elison on "Big Girl" : The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction".
  3. ^ "Meg Elison". Motherboard.
  4. ^ "Meg Elison - McSweeney's Internet Tendency". McSweeney's Internet Tendency.
  5. ^ "Catapult - Meg-Elison". Catapult.
  6. ^ "Meg Elison – Electric Literature".
  7. ^ Bosch, Torie (28 January 2016). "This 2014 Sci-Fi Novel Eerily Anticipated the Zika Crisis" – via Slate.
  8. ^ "THE BOOK OF ETTA".
  9. ^ "The Book of Flora [review]". Kirkus. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Meg Elison's singular, feminist sci-fi - The Daily Californian". 17 October 2016.