Amy's Reviews > Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places

Dancing at the Edge of the World by Ursula K. Le Guin
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's review
Nov 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: kyriarchy, non-fiction, science-fiction, short-stories
Read in October, 2011

I always find it more difficult to review anthologies and books I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, Dancing at the Edge of the World falls into both categories, making it nearly impossible for me to sum up. I greatly enjoyed reading the majority of this anthology and seeing how LeGuin's views changed over the decade plus time-span covered in Dancing at the Edge of the World. Some of her speeches were clunky in written form and her travelogues would probably have been more enjoyable if I had ever visited the places she wrote about, but her incisive essays on women, writing, and the creative process in general were delightful and thought-provoking. Even when I disagreed with her views (as in "Is Gender Necessary? Redux"), she explained her point of view fairly and in good faith, which makes for compelling reading.

The essays I enjoyed the most were "The Space Crone," "A Left-Handed Commencement Address" (which I liked enough to photocopy), "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction" (a fantastic way to look at storytelling), and "The Fisherwoman's Daughter" (which inspired me in my literary ambitions). The book reviews at the end were intriguing, although most of them were most interesting as time capsules, since I had never heard of the majority of the books LeGuin reviewed.
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