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Four Ways to Forgiveness

(Hainish Cycle #7)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,807 ratings  ·  231 reviews
At the far end of our universe, on the twin planets of Werel and Yeowe, all humankind is divided into "assets" and "owners," tradition and liberation are at war, and freedom takes many forms. Here is a society as complex and troubled as any on our world, peopled with unforgettable characters struggling to become fully human. For the disgraced revolutionary Abberkam, the ca ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 14th 2004 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 1994)
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Kat Kennedy
I think I may have found a new girl crush in Ursula K. Le Guin and her collection of four short stories, Four Ways To Forgiveness.

I never did like weak, insipid damsels in distress.

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In fact, I think it is those very characteristics that cause me to pull away from and revile books like Fallen, Twilight and Hush Hush. It seems to me that in these books, nobody aspires to be anything more than Mrs. Cullen and to terrorize the local woodland creatures as some sort of gothic reverse of Sn
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Four (actually five now, in the edition I read) interlocking novellas by Ursula Le Guin, exploring the history of two planets, Werel and Yeowe, with an entrenched culture of slavery based largely on race. Here it's the black race that has enslaved the whites, although after a few thousand years of slaves being used and raped, many of the slaves are as dark-skinned as their masters.

When the Hainish spacefaring race rediscovers Werel, which they populated millions of years ago, the interactions b
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Writing this review is hard, simply because I don't think I am equipped to adequately relay Ursula K. Le Guin's genius. She is one of the cleverest writers I have ever come across and her anthropological science fiction never ceases to amaze and distress me.

Of course, at the core of every sci-fi novel lies an alien world. The one depicted in this collection of 4 interconnected novellas is particularly gruesome IMO. This collection of stories is about slavery, freedom, and women's liberation. But
Four Ways to Forgiveness: Slavery, oppression, revolution, and redemption
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature

Ursula K. Le Guin is hardly afraid to tackle difficult topics. In fact, she delves into them with a fearless but controlled approach that forces us to look at painful subjects we may prefer not to. This time she is going straight for the jugular, exploring the sensitive subjects of freedom, slavery, oppression, sexual politics, and revolution. In the wrong hands this could easily becom
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, brace2018
Το βιβλίο αυτό αποτελείται από 4 διηγήματα τα οποία διαπραγματεύονται την ίδια ιδέα. Την απελευθέρωση. Την απελευθέρωση της γυναίκας και των υπόδουλων ανθρώπων.
Οι ιστορίες επικεντρόνονται στους πλανήτες Βερέλ και Γεοβέ όπου υπάρχει ακόμα δουλεία και οι γυναίκες θεωρούνται κτήματα των αντρών. Όπως πάντα, οι ηρωίδες της le Guin είναι δυναμικές, ανεξάρτητες και ασυμβίβαστες. Δε δέχονται να υποταχθούν σε κανέναν και μάχονται για την ισότητα και τα δικαιώματά τους. Και φυσικά αγαπάνε με πάθος! Μέχρι
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Quintessential Le Guin. It's apparently part of the Hainish cycle, which I have never read. This seems like the "Tales from Earthsea" of the Hainish cycle: it's a collection of short stories that easily stand alone, but are part of the same universe as other books, and it's, most likely, the best book in the lot. I've heard, anyway, that people don't get that excited about the Hainish books, so I assume this one may stand out.

It's four, tangential stories that surround a slave rebellion and a wa
Septimus Brown
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I already adored Ursula Le Guin, and yet this book raised her pedestal even higher for me. Four Ways to Forgiveness is a beautiful collections of stories that underscore her skill as a storyteller and a master of speculative fiction. These four tales are set on other worlds, but they are very simply about people and relationships. The SF locale isn't all laser guns and spaceships, but a mirror to our own contemporary realities and conflicts. Le Guin deals with themes of slavery, intergenerationa ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Four interconnected love stories between people from different and difficult backgrounds. All of them end up finding their way to -don't say forgiveness. don't...- to forgiveness, which clearly consists in an understanding partner and an useful occupation. It's settled in many planets, but it's mainly about one, Yeowe, that joins the narrative advantages of having just freed itself from a colonial, pro-slavery regime and being ruled by chauvinistic assholes. Luckily, none of the characters are n ...more
Dalibor Dado Ivanovic
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knjige
Nekako ova zbirka zbog prve price dobiva ocjenu 4 (po mom misljenju), cak je prva prica mozda i odlicna ali ne mogu dati pet zvjezdica za cijelu zbirku kad su mi ove ostale price, onako osrednje. Znam da sam prije par godina kad sam ju procitao dao ocjenu 3, pa rekoh idem probat ponovo al eto. Prva i treca su mi nekako najbolje. U trecoj prici Covjek iz naroda, mi se svidio odnos glavnog lika Havzize sa starom vracarom Jeron, pogotovo sami kraj price je bas onako dirljivo ljudski.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Along with Lathe of Heaven, one of my most favorite works by her.
There is just no denying it: Ursula le Guin is one of the greatest writers of the last 50 years (at least), and I firmly believe that the only reason she does not get more recognition for her commentary on race, politics, and - especially - gender - is because she sets much of that discussion off world. But, as I've mentioned before, this makes the discussion both easier to read - it's not my society being critiqued! - and harder-hitting, because when we see our faults in aliens... it hurts more ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bağışlanma Günü ve Bir Kadının Kurtuluşu hikâyeleri cidden harikaydı diğer iki hikâye ise kitabı uzatma sebebim. O kadar sıkıldım ve okumak istemedim ki o bölümleri kitabı bitirmem baya zaman aldı. Le Guin’in konu bulmada sıkıntı yaşamadığını Uçuştan Uçuşa’yı okurken fark etmiştim ama bu kitapta biraz hayal kırıklığı yaşadım. Yine de sevdiğim iki hikâye o kadar iyiydi ki diğerlerini yok saymama yetti de arttı bile. Bir Kadının Kurtuluşu’nda olayların gelişimi ve sonuç hikâye değil de roman olara ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ursula-atölye
Ursula K. LeGuin öyle bir yazar ki, her okuduğunuzda sizi yeniden ve yeniden şaşırtmayı başarıyor, ve dürtmeyi ve düşündürmeyi... Yarı saçma bir bilim kurgu hikaye gibi başlayan bir öykü-roman sonunda sizi özgürlük, kadınlık, kölelik, farklı olmak, aşk, hayatlar döngüsü konusunda sorularla başbaşa bırakarak bitiyor... Her defasında "iyi ki okumuşum" diyerek bitiyor, tekrar ve tekrar...
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Four Ways to Forgiveness contains four novella set on the planet Werel and its colony planet, Yoewe. Werel has a violent and oppressive history and although having become technologically quite advance, the practice of slavery is still the basis of their society.

The first story is set on Yeowe following their War of Liberation and features an old woman and her relationship with a former Chief of the revolution. This story seems mostly to serve as exposition and a commentary on how elders are trea
Linda Robinson
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was on the list from the Worlds Beyond Worlds Symposium, must-reads or would love to see as a film. Didn't know 'til just now that it was a number in the Hainish cycle. Doesn't read that on the book, but it's in the universe. This is a collection of 4 novellas intertwined with characters and locations in the system that includes planet Yeowe and planet Werel. The titles are Betrayals, Forgiveness Day, A Man of the People, and A Woman's Liberation. These are fiction along with a keen st ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kitap, yazarın kurguladığı "Hainish Cycle" adı verilen kurgusal evrendeki birbirine çok yakın ve sömürü ilişkileri olan Werel ve Yeowe adındaki gezegenlerde geçen dört uzun hikayeden oluşuyor. Hikayeler birbirinden bağımsız gibi görünse de dolaylı bağlantılar da mevcut. Le Guin bu kurgusal gezegenleri yine sadece bir fon olarak kullanarak, sosyal meselelere yoğunlaşıyor. Hiç de hoş olmayan beşeriyet inkişafımızı alegorik bir tarzda resmederek, eleştiriyor aslında.

Le Guin külliyatında en üst sıra
Jeffrey E
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a reason Le Guin is considered one of the greats. This book is a shining example of how elegant and powerful her writing can be. Highly recommended.
Oct 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, read-in-2012
"At the far end of the universe, on the twin planets of Werel and Yeowe, all humankind is divided into 'assets' and 'owners', tradition and liberation are at war, and freedom takes many forms. Here is a society as complex and troubled as any on our world, peopled with unforgettable characters struggling to become fully human. For the disgraced revolutionary Abberkam, the callow 'space brat' Solly, the haughty soldier Teyeo, and the Ekuman historian and Hainish exile Havzhiva, freedom and duty bo ...more
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you've ever thought, as I never have, that Ursula Le Guin would write fantastically wonderful romance, may I present this book. The four stories depict a society emerging from slavery and dealing with its initial political and sexual repercussions and reiterations, but the love stories at the heart of each are both hopeful and beautiful. That said, there's definitely a weird tension between Le Guin's artificial society of Werel and American slavery (or at least how it's been depicted in ficti ...more
Pinar Celebi
Bağışlanmanın Dört Yolu, Ursula K. Le Guin’den ilk kitap olarak kesinlikle okunmaması gereken bir kitap. Aksi takdirde kitabı oluşturan öyküler havada kalabilir veya ilginizi çekmeyebilir. Bu kitap benim Hainish Döngüsü okumalarım kapsamında okuduğum 8. kitaptı. Kitap Ursula K. Le Guin’in 1994-1995 yıllarında yazdığı dört öyküden oluşuyor ve 1996’da Locus Ödülü’nü almış. Öykülerin her biri bağımsız öyküler gibi okunabilse de hepsi birbiriyle ilintili aslında. Kölelik, kırsal kesimde hayat, sosya ...more
Josephine Ensign
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book completely sucked me in and I basically read it in one sitting. I had forgotten what an amazing writer Le Guin is, having read The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed during my early teenage 'sci-fi phase.' I stumbled into this book of hers by a happy mistake, ordering it up along with tons of other library books in my current research on forgiveness. She deals with complex issues of racism and sexism, power and oppression, forgiveness and anger in a mesmerizing, completely abso ...more
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am torn to pieces.
Silvio Curtis
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Three worthwhile stories with a few boring or incohesive aspects, then "A Woman's Liberation", which is a real masterpiece. All the stories deal with the slavery-based culture of Werel (this is a different planet from the one in City of Illusions) and with its former colony Yeowe, which has expelled the owner race in a revolution but is still struggling to create a truly free society. In addition, the book contains a section of "notes" on the history and cultures of the two planets. A fifth good ...more
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of four novellas that revolve around one topic: liberation.

Liberation of a people from slavery, liberation of women from the equally oppressive thumb of sexism. It's also about the liberation of a mind from ignorance. Because of the subject it concerns, it is quite heartbreaking. But also very beautiful.

I can't explain (and I'm not even sure I understand) why Le Guin used "forgiveness" as the sort of secondary theme to hold the stories together. I won't try to. No amount o
Aug 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I near the end of my quest to read every scrap of fiction LeGuin ever wrote, this one does not disappoint. 4 short stories about the same world in the midst of a revolution. I love that her first set of characters are old, and how quiet and personal that story is in contrast with the later stories. I also love her sense of particularity and how truth is local in "A Man of the People." My only criticism is that her stories are trying to cover whole lifetimes,so sometimes go in and out of focus ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Note: I had given this book 4 stars, coz the Left Hand of Darkness & Dispossessed were 5.
Yet I'm compelled to change my grading to 5, because (for me) it's far superior to other books I've graded with 4.
And well, to be honest, all Le Guin's books are, in fact, 1000 stars out of 5.
Ursula K. Le Guin doesn't have a weak book (that I've read). That is all.
Characters: 4/5
Writing Style: 4/5
World: 3/5
Resonance: 3/5

The Identify-This-Book Challenge

bucolic setting
foreigner to a new land viewpoint
free-love advocacy
cautionary, pro-environment lesson
villainous capitalist plunderers
inclusive treatment of sexual identity
oppressor/oppressed class conflict
violent sexual assault as weapon of antagonist
pro-democracy message

Answer (Hold computer monitor up to mirror): elcyC hsiniaH eht fo koob yrevE

If Hainish Cycle fans finish this thinking they've encount
Valentina Salvatierra
Four linked novellas revolving around the convoluted relationship between the planets Werel and Yeowe, in the 'Hainish universe'. Perhaps not the best way into the Hainish universe, these novellas constitute an intriguing development of it for someone who is already somewhat familiar with Le Guin's work.

Werel is a slave-capitalist planet that colonised Yeowe through four private corporations and populated it with an overwhelming majority of light-skinned assets, the Werelian term for their slave
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Ursula K. Le Guin 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. She lived in Portland, Orego ...more

Other books in the series

Hainish Cycle (6 books)
  • Rocannon's World
  • Planet of Exile
  • City of Illusions
  • The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle #4)
  • The Word for World is Forest
  • The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle #6)
“I have told the story I was asked to tell. I have closed it, as so many stories close, with a joining of two people. What is one man's and one woman's love and desire, against the history of two worlds, the great revolutions of our lifetimes, the hope, the unending cruelty of our species? A little thing. But a key is a little thing, next to the door it opens. If you lose the key, the door may never be unlocked. It is in our bodies that we lose or begin our freedom, in our bodies that we accept or end our slavery. So I wrote this book for my friend, with whom I have lived and will die free.” 21 likes
“There are two kinds of knowledge, local and universal.” 17 likes
More quotes…