The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness

By (author) Ursula K. Le Guin

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When "The Left Hand of Darkness first appeared in 1969, the original jacket copy read, "Once in a long while a whole new world is created for us. Such worlds are Middle Earth, Dune - and such a world is Winter." Twenty-five years and a Hugo and Nebula Award later, these words remain true. In Winter, or Gethen, Ursula K. Le Guin has created a fully realized planet and people. But Gethen society is more than merely a fascinating creation. The concept of a society existing totally without sexual prejudices is even more relevant today than it was in 1969. This special 25th anniversary edition of The Left Hand of Darkness contains not only the complete, unaltered text of the landmark original but also a thought-provoking new afterword and four new appendixes by Ms. Le Guin. When the human ambassador Genly Ai is sent to Gethen, the planet known as Winter by those outsiders who have experienced its arctic climate, he thinks that his mission will be a standard one of making peace between warring factions. Instead the ambassador finds himself wildly unprepared. For Gethen is inhabited by a society with a rich, ancient culture full of strange beauty and deadly intrigue - a society of people who are both male and female in one, and neither. This lack of fixed gender, and the resulting lack of gender-based discrimination, is the very cornerstone of Gethen life. But Genly is all too human. Unless he can overcome his ingrained prejudices about the significance of "male" and "female, " he may destroy both his mission and himself.

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  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 106.68 x 187.96 x 27.94mm | 158.76g
  • 01 Apr 1996
  • Time Warner International
  • New York
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0441478123
  • 9780441478125
  • 1,831

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Author Information

Ursula K. Le Guin lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Review quote

[A] science fiction masterpiece. Newsweek A jewel of a story. Frank Herbert As profuse and original in invention as The Lord of the Rings. Michael Moorcock An instant classic. Minneapolis Star-Tribune Like all great writers of fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin creates imaginary worlds that restore us, hearts eased, to our own. The Boston Globe Stellar A triumphant return to the magic-drenched world of Earthsea Le Guin is still at the height of her powers, a superb stylist with a knack for creating characters who are both wise and deeply humane. A major event in fantasy literature. Publishers Weekly (starred review) Richly told Le Guin hasn t lost her touch. She draws us into the magical land and its inhabitants doings immediately. Booklist"

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