Was (or Was... in the UK edition) is a WFA nominated 1992 novel by Canadian author Geoff Ryman, focusing on themes of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and the musical film version, ranging across time and space from the 1860s Kansas to the late 1980s California. WAS is an adult parallel to the magical Land of Oz, that never existed as a real place. The novel explores the tragic, but very moving life of "Dorothy Gael" in 1800s Kansas, whose traumatic experiences with Aunt Emily and Uncle Henry after her mother's death leads her to create an imaginary and idealized world in her mind based on some of her real-life experiences as a way of coping with her bleak reality. The book goes into depth about the importance of a healthy, stable childhood, and explores the life of Judy Garland as she plays Dorothy Gale in the 1939 movie. The novel tells the stories of the characters and how they are connected to one another without realizing it.
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original title: Was
date of publication: 1992
genre: novel, LGBT

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