The Left Hand of DarknessSutty, an Observer from Earth for the interstellar Ekumen, has been assigned to a new world-a world in the grips of a stern monolithic state, the Corporation. Embracing the sophisticated technology brought by other worlds and desiring to advance even faster into the future, the Akans recently outlawed the past, the old calligraphy, certain words, all ancient beliefs and ways; every citizen must now be a producer-consumer. Their state, not unlike the China of the Cultural Revolution, is one of secular terrorism. Traveling from city to small town, from loudspeakers to bleating cattle, Sutty discovers the remnants of a banned religion, a hidden culture. As she moves deeper into the countryside and the desolate mountains, she learns more about the Telling-the old faith of the Akans-and more about herself. With her intricate creation of an alien world, Ursula K. Le Guin compels us to reflect on our own recent history.
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The tellingUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
As a member of the Ekumen's embassy on the planet Aka, Sutty undertakes a delicate mission that leads her to a mountain village reported to contain the last remnants of a dying culture. Following a ... Read full review
I re-read this book every few years, and it changes my life in new ways each time. It is about finding and preserving our humanity in oppressive societies. The depth and nuance of the main character allow her to explore these big issues in a way that is real, personal, and not too 'preachy'.
I particularly love this book for having a gay main character who does more than just be gay. Don't get me wrong, I love a good coming out story, but we can do other things too- like working as anthropologists studying banned religions, and challenging authoritarian governments on two planets!