Monday, September 28, 2009

40th anniversary of "The Left Hand of Darkness"

Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness” is one of my all time favorite books. Since I first read it I returned a couple of times with great pleasure to the planet Winter in re-readings of the novel. This year seems like a very proper time for a re-visit to Winter, because “The Left Hand of Darkness” celebrates its 40th anniversary. I own the Romanian edition of Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel, but I am very much tempted to buy the anniversary copy which will be released by Orbit Books UK this November (especially since I find the cover to be very appropriate for the content within).

Genly Ai is a diplomat of sorts, sent to observe the inhabitants of the snowbound planet of Winter. But the isolated, androgynous people are suspicious of this strange, single-gendered visitor. Tucked away in a remote corner of the universe, they have no knowledge of space travel or of life beyond their own world. So, bringing news of a vast coalition of planets they are invited to join, he is met with fear, mistrust and disbelief.
But also something more. For Genly Ai, who sees himself as a bringer of the truth, it is a bittersweet irony that he will discover truths about himself and, in the snow-shrouded strangeness of Winter, find both love and tragedy . . .

5 comments:

Alec said...

I just could not get into this bad boy. I understand why it is structurally and technically a work of art, but the characters rarely drew me in. I still find it so cool though, that a woman writes as a man visiting a culture where there is neither... imagine how that must mess with your head during the writing process...

ediFanoB said...

Again I'm clueless. It seems I didn't read much in my life. I must admit I know the name of the author but didn't read a single book by Ursula K. Le Guin.

It sounds intersting enough to add it to my "small" list.

Hagelrat said...

I've not read any Le Guin either although I always think she seems fabulous in interviews and things.

Kailana said...

I need to reread this one of these days. I read it so long ago I don't even really remember it.

Mihai (Dark Wolf) said...

I recommend all to read Ursula K. Le Guin's works. She is a wonderful writer and I found some amazing readings among her novels :)

Kailana, I plan a re-reading too :)