The unfettered woman, as both a liberating and destructive spirit, figures in each of the 32 poems and stories (most previously published) in this intriguing, if uneven, collection. ""I will not give in!"" declares the protagonist of Margaret Atwood's poem ""Half-Hanged Mary,"" which opens the volume, and it's a conviction shared by many of the book's protagonists. In Lucy Taylor's terse story ""Going North,"" a girl escapes from her oppressive family, risking everything on a slender chance to be free. Edward Bryant's nicely cadenced ""While She Was Out"" features a young woman who discovers that committing murder bestows an unexpected sense of self-respect. In ""Haunted,"" Joyce Carol Oates explores, with chilling precision, both sides of the liberation/destruction equation. Lisa Tuttle's ""Bits and Pieces"" is a dark parable of sex and power. Other contributors include Ursula K. LeGuin, Sylvia Watanabe (""Talking to the Dead,"" a grisly, deeply unsettling tale), Gene Wolfe, Alice Walker, and, appropriately, Clarissa Pinkola EstÃ¢s, author of Women Who Run with the Wolves, the bestseller that popularized the image of the free, wild, powerful woman.