Dale's Reviews > The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
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's review
Jul 13, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-with-footnotes
Read in July, 2012

I've read some other stuff of LeGuin's before, but this book keeps popping up on allegedly definitive lists of all-time great sci-fi, so I figured it was about time I got around to it. I'm glad I did. It's fairly meditative, for a story you could ostensibly describe as an adventure on an icy planet involving first contact between a galactic empire and a strange offshoot of humanity, complete with political intrigue, attempted assassinations and daring prison escapes. But those elements really become the background against which to set examinations of what it means to be human, and to relate to other humans, and what it means to have a gender, or not, or to have both. Beyond that it gets hard to explain, but easy to recommend.

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