book cover of A Mask for the General

A Mask for the General

A novel by

Arthur C. Clarke Award Best Book (nominee)
Publisher's Weekly
The General took over leadership of the United States at the time of the Collapse. In 2021, food is still rationed, movement within the country is curtailed and political strictures are so tight that rehabilitation centers are burgeoning. In California, a group of dissidents has collected in tribes, adopting Indian animism customs, one of which involves discovering their animal spirits and wearing identifying masks. Seventeen-year-old Mary has moved from Stockton to Berkeley in search of a maskmaker to tell her what animal she is and to make her a mask. Shortly after arriving she meets the famed Layla and her group of friends, all of whom are subversive in different ways and to different degrees. Mary is honored when Layla wants to take her on as her apprentice but, because she is an epileptic, fears entering the trances required of a maskmaker. Layla makes a crow mask for the General (so he might find his soul), precipitating the action that allows Mary to find her own path while remaining faithful both to Layla and herself. Echoing other ominous futuristic tales, Goldstein's new novel (The Red Magician and Dream Years) is neither very original nor chilling.

Library Journal
Five years after the economic collapse of the United States, the masked tribespeople of Berkeley retain a precarious hold on individual and intellectual freedom until two womenLayla the maskmaker and a newcomer called Marytake an unprecedented risk to bring down the totalitarian rule of America's dictator, a man known as The General. In transplanting the consciousness of the 1960s to the near-future, the author of Dream Years has created a brilliant parable of nonviolent revolution. Recommended. JC

Genre: Science Fiction

Used availability for Lisa Goldstein's A Mask for the General

Hardback Editions

November 1989 : UK Hardback

Title: A Mask For The General
Author(s): Lisa Goldstein
ISBN: 0-09-964880-6 / 978-0-09-964880-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Orbit
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

October 1987 : USA Hardback

Title: A Mask for the General (Bantam Spectra Book)
Author(s): Lisa Goldstein
ISBN: 0-553-05239-X / 978-0-553-05239-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Paperback Editions

September 1988 : USA Mass Market Paperback

Title: Mask for the General
Author(s): Lisa Goldstein
ISBN: 0-553-27312-4 / 978-0-553-27312-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Spectra
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA