This book can realistically be called a classic. Originally published in 1969, I found this novel when our bookstore opened in 2011. After picking it up on a whim, I sat down and literally couldn’t stop reading. The characters are fascinating, Le Guin’s take on gender roles/identity in her imagined world was something I’d never read before, and the societies that are at odds with one another are believably antagonistic. Readers view the story through the eyes of an outsider, a man sent to a foreign planet in an effort to make contact and establish diplomatic relations, so his reactions are much like what our own might have been, his epiphanies that much more poignant for that same reason. I highly recommend this novel to people who like more traditional science fiction and who don’t mind a bit of genderbending.
— Caitlyn, Raleigh
50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION—WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY DAVID MITCHELL AND A NEW AFTERWORD BY CHARLIE JANE ANDERS
Ursula K. Le Guin’s groundbreaking work of science fiction—winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.
A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants’ gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters...
Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.
About the Author
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, in 1929. She was the bestselling author of the Earthsea books and the Hainish books, including The Left Hand of Darkness, which was awarded both the Nebula and the Hugo Awards. With the awarding of the 1975 Hugo and Nebula Awards to The Dispossessed, she became the first author to win both awards twice for novels. She passed away in 2018.
Praise for The Left Hand of Darkness
“[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
“A towering figure in science fiction and fantasy.”—NPR