Sarah Govett chooses the book that introduced her to the possibilities of dystopian fiction.
The book I most wish I’d written is The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. It was my first introduction to dystopia and the genre’s potential not only to provide thrilling stories, but also to act as a vehicle for social commentary. The Chrysalids is a powerful and unsettling coming of age story set in a post-nuclear community where intolerance and religious conservatism reign. Difference, in the form of genetic mutation, is seen as deviation from God’s creation, and hounded and stamped out. It is a brilliant, brilliant study of bigotry and humanity. Two words – Sophie’s foot. I’ve read it aged 14, 16 and 26 and I cry every time.
Sarah Govett’s latest book, The Territory, Truth (978-1910080702) is published by Firefly Press, £7.99.
The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (978-0141032979) is published by Penguin, £8.99