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The Wild Girls

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  752 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Winner of:
Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, National Book Foundation

Newly revised and presented here in book form for the first time, this Nebula Award-winning story tells of two captive "dirt children" in a society of sword and silk, whose determination to find a glimpse of justice leads to a violent and loving end. Also included is the nonfictio
Paperback, 128 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by PM Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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An eclectic mixture of things has been poured into this slender volume: the longest piece is a short story, there are some poems, an essay, an interview...


See the complete review here:

But here's a bonus Goodreads-only bit:

There's an interview in here in which LeGuin bemoans the state of the modern publishing industry as it attempts to mass market to the lowest common denominator. Now
Jun 03, 2011 Tatiana rated it really liked it
Shelves: collections
A slim volume, filled with good stuff, The Wild Girls has the title story plus a few essays, poems, and an interview. It was lovely! I hope UKL publishes whatever comes out of her pen, long or short, fiction or essay, from now on. I can't bear to wait years between the big novels, you know.

The title story was wonderful though too short. I want a whole novel about these people, this world. I cared about them from the very start through the tragic end. The story makes me ask why is life like this
May 14, 2011 Nikki rated it really liked it
The Wild Girls contains a few things: a short story of that name, an essay on reading which criticises the publishing industry's expectations of book-buying, a handful of poems (barely enough to get your teeth into), and an interview with the author.

The short story is not unexpected, for Le Guin: a story from a society set up in an entirely different way to ours, with three types of people, Dirt people, Crown people, and Root people. There are various rules about marriage between the people: a C
Jul 26, 2016 Macartney rated it really liked it
Shelves: lady-writers
The essay on reading and books is worth the price of admission. No one critiques publishing and capitalism and the harm each does to literature, art and ideas like Le Guin does. The short story of the title, interview, additional essay and poems that make up the rest of the pages are icing on the cake.
Mar 05, 2014 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves to read
A wonderful time with UKG, as usual, this one is a buffet table of her work. The title novella is wonderful, there are gems in the poems, and the interview with her at the end is fun to hear her 'voice' speak up. But the piece that will stay with me the longest, I think, is her non-fiction essay "Stay Awake While Reading". Just a very good piece on the uneasy intersection of capitalism with art(literature), and how the big publishing houses are mucking it all up. I especially liked the paragraph ...more
Nov 02, 2016 Beril rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-yabancı
kısacık ama mükemmel bir öykü, yazarın denemeleri ve çok güzel bir röportajın yanında bir de şiirden oluşan kitap su gibi okunuyor. şiiri çok sevemedim ama genel olarak şiirle pek aram iyi değildir zaten. yazarın hayata bakışını hep kendime yakın bulduğum için denemeleri elbette hoşuma gitti. röportajda verdiği yanıtlara ise bayıldım:) hikayeye gelince keşke kocaman bir roman olsaydı da daha çok okuyabilseydim.
Althea Ann
Aug 07, 2011 Althea Ann rated it it was amazing
Short, but excellent book.
Includes one (lovely, thoughtful and spooky) short story, an essay on reading and the publishing industry, which I only partly agree with (but the parts I disagree with give me things to consider), a small selection of poems, an essay on the concept of modesty, and an interview with the author.
The list price is high for the page count ($12/102), but it's more than worth reading.
< bump >8/11/14 - on sale at amazon for .99 !!! today only!
A short collection in the Outspoken Authors series, The Wild Girls is a story containing what I've come to recognize as a signature style of Le Guin's, written with beauty and brutality, wrapped up with a chill at the end. The rest of the slim volume is taken up with (among other things,) an acerbic essay about the commoditization of "reading," several poems (a couple of which also appear in Finding My Elegy,) and an interview.

I'd be hard pressed to say which part of this booklet is the best par
Oct 17, 2011 Ryandake rated it it was amazing
what can i add to:

a writer working at the top of her considerable skills
painting a landscape & a culture for us in as few words as possible
and moving us deeply in this incredible economy of
just.exactly.the.right.words. and no more


Ms. LeGuin, you still rock :-)
John Defrog
Oct 05, 2015 John Defrog rated it really liked it
I’ve been enjoying the PM Press Outspoken Authors series, and I’m a fan of Ursula K. Le Guin, so eventually I was going to get to this. The title novella (newly revised) is a grim and harrowing fantasy tale of two girls who are kidnapped and sold into slavery as children, and haunted by the ghost of a baby that died in the same raid. Also included are two essays (on the alleged decline of book reading and the evolution of the word “modesty” as a gender-specific term) and an interview. The novell ...more
Fantasy Literature
Apr 12, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
“When her mother went to embrace her, Tudju made the gesture that put her aside.”

Some topics carry inevitability in their DNA. When you read about Titanic, or the 1918 influenza pandemic, you know what’s going to happen. In Ursula LeGuin’s novelette The Wild Girls we have a good idea how it’s going to end. We don’t want to believe, but we know.

In the opening paragraphs, Bela ten Belen takes five companions and a male slave and leaves his City home to raid a nearby nomadic village. Bela is huntin
Melekser Bayraktar
Sanırım bu kitabı puanların biraz yanlı davrandım diyebilirim.Çünkü yazara inanılmaz tutuldum.Bütün kitaplarını okuyamayı düşünüyorum.Fantastik,bilim kurgu ve edebiyat böyle birşey işte.İnsanı diyar diyar gezdiren kitaplar yazıyor yazar.Sadece yazmıyor aslında sanki işlemiş tüm kitaplarını bilgiyle,ışıkla...Anlat anlat ben bitiremem.Aslında bu yorum tüm kitaplarına.Yaban kızlar kısa ama içinde kökten kabullendiğimiz öteki duygusunu açığa çıkarmış.YaZara sormuşlar kitaplarınızın konusu nedir diye ...more
Buck Ward
Nov 17, 2016 Buck Ward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, wwend-2016
The Wild Girls is a short story or novelette, generally classified as science fiction. It's a story about a fictional culture that have existing in prehistoric times, in the far future, on a fictional planet, or in a fictional plane of existence; but it isn't science fiction - it's fiction, cultural fiction - the thing that Le Guin does best.

The book also is a collection of poems, essays and an interview of Le Guin by Terry Bisson. If you are a fan of Ursula K Le Guin, this is worth the read.
May 12, 2014 Bradley rated it it was amazing
Le Guin is at the height of her world-building powers here. She is able to create a fairly complex world while not spoon-feeding the reader with over-exposition. I really enjoyed her essays (that are included in this volume) on modesty and how capitalism and the publishing industry relate to each other.
May 08, 2011 Thoraiya rated it it was amazing
Everything about this compact volume is exceptional. The Nebula-award-winning novella is exceptional. The essay "Staying Awake While We Read" is exceptional. The poetry is exceptional. The interview is exceptional.

I'm going to read this again and again.
Aug 17, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, ladywritten
UKLG is awesome. The title story is brutal and good. The essays and interview are a little flimsy. But the book is small and beautiful and nice to hold.
Jan 19, 2016 kari rated it it was amazing
Stunning. I don't even know how to write about it.
hakkını vererek okuyamadığımı hissediyorum. çok da uzak olmayan gelecekte tekrar okuyacağım.
Robin Helweg-Larsen
Oct 23, 2016 Robin Helweg-Larsen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, science, history
A short book, consisting of the title's long short story, meditative essays on literature as a community activity (eroded but not replaced by radio, movies, tv, etc) and on the evolving concept of humility, a few poems, and an interview by series editor and SF author Terry Bisson. The pieces range widely, but all speak with the same voice: wise, speculative, covertly sarcastic and cynical in a good-humored rather than bitter tone.

The story and the essay on humility speak directly to issues of ge
Büşra Göç
Dec 02, 2016 Büşra Göç rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kitap öykü, iki deneme, bir kaç şiir ve bir röportaj içeriyor. Öykü bambaşka, kurgusuyla, kısacıklığıyla, değindiği konularla ve bu konuları inceden kurguya yedirmesiyle çok güzeldi. Yazarın üslubunu, dilini, tavrını çok sevdim.

Yazarla tanışma kitabı olarak tercih etmenizi tavsiye etmem ama yazarla tanıştıktan sonra da çok da bekletmeden hemen okumanızı tavsiye ederim.
Dec 18, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing
Ursula LeGuin is a brilliant woman and a wonderful writer.
Mar 15, 2017 Jaime rated it really liked it
All kinds of good things in this book, especially after the story ends. Thanks be to libraries and the time to browse for things I didn't mean to pick up off the shelves.
Mary Overton
"In the village, there had been two kinds of person, Tullu and slaves. Here [in the City] there were three kinds; and you could not change your kind, and you could not marry your kind. There were the Crowns, who owned land and slaves, and were all chiefs, priests, gods on earth. And the Dirt people, who were slaves.... And there were the other people, the Roots.
"....Root people were rich. They oversaw planting and harvest, the storehouses and marketplaces. Root women were in charge of house buil
Aug 11, 2015 Gersande rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, essays
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I’ve yet to go wrong with Le Guin. She’s consistently interesting, well-written and thought-provoking. So much so i recently backed a kickstarter raising money to make a documentary on the life of the author.

Where i really found myself loving this book were Le Guin’s essays. I absolutely adored Staying Awake While We Read, which addresses they ever-consistent, though somewhat low, number of book sales, and how and why this is seen as bad in a society that is unhealthily obsessed with economic gr
May 14, 2013 Blanche rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dystopian, essays
The actual short story in this volume, The Wild Girls, was lovely, and makes me want to read more of Le Guin's work (surprisingly, this is actually the first thing of hers that I've read!). She had an excellent economy of phrasing; from world building to climax to end took a mere 54 pages. The civilization she created was quite vibrant. I'm looking forward to more of her sci-fi

The volume also includes 2 essays, some short poems, and an interview with her. The essays included were more frustratin
Isaac Yuen
Oct 17, 2011 Isaac Yuen rated it really liked it
This volume provides the reader a sampler of Le Guin’s works, comprising a short story, a collection of poems, two essays, and an interview.

The titled short story is tragic and haunting, portraying a realistic depiction of ordinary living within a complex dynamic of oppression. Her essays tend to be well thought out and full of great quotes; Staying Awake While We Read is no exception in its dealing of its subject material. The gem of the book has to be the Conversation of the Modest in which
Feb 22, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it
I sat down to read this thinking it would something fun, based on the title, and wow was I mistaken! The Wild Girls is not about girls venturing into the wild, which is what I thought, but rather about a group of young tribal girls who are kidnapped to become brides of city men. So, no, not exactly "fun" to read, but as with everything UKL writes, it's a wonderfully crafted short story about enculturation.

In this anthology, she includes a few of her poems, and I think these particular poems wer
منى كريم
May 24, 2015 منى كريم rated it liked it
Having a short story, an essay, and selected poems in one book did not seem like a good idea to me. I am not a fan of Ursula's fiction but the essay included "staying awake while we read" struck me with some problematic points and its limited imagination.
I am particularly bothered by this assumption that we are always passive when dealing with media and pop art. Her argument sounds elitist.
At some point as she discusses reading and women, she ignorantly gives the example of "muslim societies t
Josie Boyce
Jan 14, 2015 Josie Boyce rated it really liked it
The novella that takes up most of this book is a great example of how to build a believable alien world through storytelling. No long exposition that isn't also part of the characters' own development. Masterful world building, and interesting characters that leave you wanting more. I would read the heck out of a longer piece set in this oddly foreign, yet familiar patriarchy. Stellar. The poems are good, if not so memorable as the novella. The essay is as impassioned as any i have read from Leg ...more
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Wallstreet 1 5 Nov 13, 2011 04:16PM  
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As of 2013, Ursula K. Le Guin has published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. Forthcoming ...more
More about Ursula K. Le Guin...

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“...[T]he only means I have to stop ignorant snobs from behaving towards genre fiction with snobbish ignorance is to not reinforce their ignorance and snobbery by lying and saying that when I write SF it isn't SF, but to tell them more or less patiently for forty or fifty years that they are wrong to exclude SF and fantasy from literature, and proving my arguments by writing well.” 11 likes
“Self-satisfaction with the inability to remain conscious when faced with printed matter seems misplaced.” 3 likes
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