(? - ) Australian author who began to publish work of genre interest with "The Oracle" in Redsine for July 2002. Her first novel, The Daughters of Moab (2008), is set in a Ruined Earth Australia, where remnants of Homo sapiens have evolved or suffered mutation (see Mutants): the resulting bifurcation into the Daughters of Moab, who are Genetically Engineered splices between humans and animals, and the diseased male Nathans leads to oppression (see Feminism; Women in SF). The natural affinity of the women for the natural world begins to tell in their favour, as it gradually becomes clear (see Gaia) that Nature herself is preparing to slough off the dregs of patriarchy. The Courier's New Bicycle (2010) – set in a Near Future Melbourne where human fertility is under threat – suffers under Dystopian male tyranny, though the streetwise narrator of the tale (whose gender is not made explicit) dances their way through mean streets with seeming gonzo ease, following a narrative strategy similar to that evident in Lauren Beukes's almost simultaneous Zoo City (2010). Though her first two novels perhaps too neatly reward their transgressive protagonists for remaining authentic, Westwood is clearly an author capable of yet deeper transgressions. [JC]
born Sydney, New South Wales.
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