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The Secret Sci-Fi Life of Alice B. Sheldon

Julie Phillips' biography of Alice B. Sheldon chronicles the author's double-life of writing very successful Science Fiction stories under a male writer's name.
Julie Phillips' biography of Alice B. Sheldon chronicles the author's double-life of writing very successful Science Fiction stories under a male writer's name.

Science fiction writer James Tiptree, Jr. earned the reputation of being a male author who understood women.

Tiptree's stories often addressed gender issues -- on Earth and in worlds beyond.

One story in particular involves a woman opting to live with an alien nation, for the sole reason of avoiding the feeling of confinement she has in her male-dominated society.

There was a deep secret behind Tiptree's sensitivity: In reality, he was a she. Alice B. Sheldon (1915 - 1987) used the male pen name to write in a time when male authors could expect more success in the realm of science fiction.

Julie Phillips wrote James Tiptree, Jr., a biography subtitled: "The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon." Phillips tells Andrea Seabrook why she was inspired to write the book, more about who Sheldon was and how the nom de plume changed Sheldon's life.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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