James Tiptree, Jr., burst onto the science fiction scene in the late 1960s with a series of hard-edged, provocative stories. He redefined the genre with such classics as "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" and "The Women Men Don't See," For nearly ten years he wrote and carried on intimate correspondences with other writers--Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, and Ursula K. Le Guin, though none of them knew his true identity. Then the cover was blown on his alter ego: "he" was actually a sixty-one-year-old woman named Alice Bradley Sheldon. A feminist, she took a male name as a joke--and found the voice to write her stories. As a child, she explored Africa with her mother. Later, made into a debutante, she eloped with one of the guests at the party. She was an artist, a chicken farmer, aWorld War II intelligence officer, a CIA agent, an experimental psychologist. Devoted to her second husband, she struggled with her feelings for women. In 1987, her suicide shocked friends and fans. The James Tiptree, Jr.Award was created to honor science fiction or fantasy that explores our understanding of gender. This fascinating biography, ten years in the making, is based on extensive research, exclusive interviews, and full access to Alice Sheldon's papers
"An incredible life, done elegant justice. Tiptree-Sheldon is one of the century's astonishing figures."--Jonathan Lethem, bestselling author of "The Fortress of Solitude"
"This account of a heroically inventive and highly peculiar quest for personal and creative fulfillment may make you rethink your ideas about what it means to be male or female--or, for that matter, human."--Francine Prose, "O, The Oprah Magazine"
"Ms. Phillips does a fine, perceptive job of piecing together the patchwork of her subject's personality."--"The New York Times Book Review" (cover review)
First published 2006.