The Left Hand of Darkness

Front Cover
Ace Books, 1987 - Fiction - 304 pages
1529 Reviews

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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
532
4 stars
541
3 stars
290
2 stars
103
1 star
63

Prose and plot were nice. - Goodreads
The ending really disappointed me. - Goodreads
I liked the premise far more than I liked the writing. - Goodreads
A cornucopia of ideas and a hidden love story - Goodreads
Boring,confusing, no plot, great environment - Goodreads
Worth reading for Le Guin's stellar Introduction alone. - Goodreads
User Review - Flag as inappropriate

PS 3562 E42 L495 in L2

Review: The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle #4)

User Review  - Adriana - Goodreads

What can be said that hasn't been said already before? It's a brilliant novel, but I would be simply echoing praises said for almost five decades (and on this page too) so I'll try to keep it short ... Read full review

All 344 reviews »

Contents

Introduction Page 1 A Parade in Erhenrang
1
The Place Inside the Blizzard
22
The Mad King
27
Copyright

18 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1987)

Ursula K. Le Guin lives in Portland, Oregon.

Bibliographic information