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Left Hand of Darkness > General thoughts!

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message 1: by Winx (new)

Winx Vestrit (40winx) | 48 comments Mod
Happy 2018, Marshmallows!

It's a new year, a new month, and time for a new book! For January, we are reading a book that Adrienne picked out: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin. I'm so excited for this book, and I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

So, let's discuss! What do you think about this world? The world's inhabitants? The idea of a gender neutral species? Genly Ai? Kemmer? Shifgrethor?


message 2: by Jess (new)

Jess | 8 comments I don't have anything to note yet, but the Left Hand of Darkness is on sale on the Kindle store of $1.99 rn, if anyone else hasn't picked it up yet! :)


message 3: by Lena (new)

Lena Fickle (unicronq) | 6 comments I have a really nice edition of the complete Hainish stories. Ursula K. Le Guin: The Hainish Novels and Stories I was wanting to read them! The Left Hand of Darkness seems like a great pick! I've been wanting to try to get more involved in book discussion groups. I just hope I can get it read in the allotted time. I loved Rocannon's World from the Hainish series!


message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna Goldberg  | 6 comments Hi! I am new to this group as of today, and I've been wanting to read this book for about a month now. Looking forward to discussing with y'all :)


message 5: by Aaron (new)

Aaron (zanish) Hello! Is this an appropriate place to respond to topics discussed on the podcast related to the book?


message 6: by Bethany (new)

Bethany | 2 comments So I ended up listening to the BBC 4 Radio play version of this! (I was short on time and I love dramatizations). It was really great but it was sometimes tricky to keep a handle on the plot/timeline. Did anyone else experience this? Also, my mental picture of the characters was very heavily influenced by the voices I was hearing - for instance, Estraven was voiced by a woman so that definitely had an effect. The radio play format also did a great job of weaving Ai and Estraven's plots together....was this present in print?

Can't wait to hear what everyone thinks!


message 7: by Winx (new)

Winx Vestrit (40winx) | 48 comments Mod
Aaron wrote: "Hello! Is this an appropriate place to respond to topics discussed on the podcast related to the book?"

Hi Aaron! This is a great place for that! :D


message 8: by Winx (new)

Winx Vestrit (40winx) | 48 comments Mod
Bethany wrote: "So I ended up listening to the BBC 4 Radio play version of this! (I was short on time and I love dramatizations). It was really great but it was sometimes tricky to keep a handle on the plot/timeli..."

Ooo, that sounds awesome! It's really interesting that you were influenced by the female narrator for Estraven. The book used he/him pronouns for everyone on Winter (with an aside about how it was better than calling people "it"), but that really painted everyone as male for both Adrienne and I. I ended up feeling fairly awkward when we recorded the second episode, because I wasn't quite sure if I should use "he" or something legitimately gender-neutral, like "they," when talking about Estraven! ^^;; It's pretty amazing how such subtle things can influence our image of someone!

I did think that the book did a great job of weaving the plots together, though! :)


message 9: by Anna (new)

Anna Goldberg  | 6 comments So I don’t think I’m going to get this book finished before the end of the month :( I’ll probably return to this thread when I have finished it and share my thoughts.


message 10: by Winx (new)

Winx Vestrit (40winx) | 48 comments Mod
Anna wrote: "So I don’t think I’m going to get this book finished before the end of the month :( I’ll probably return to this thread when I have finished it and share my thoughts."

No problem, Anna! A good number of people do that and just catch up with the episodes and discussion whenever they're ready. We're excited to hear your thoughts anytime! :)


message 11: by Anna (new)

Anna Goldberg  | 6 comments Finally started the book tonight (better late than never, I guess!) and oh my word, the writing is fantastic! I’ve read Le Guin before, so I kind of knew to expect something great, but jeez, ever sentence is a gem! (Sorry for the gushing ☺️)


message 12: by Anna (new)

Anna Goldberg  | 6 comments Valeria, I completely agree! I think maybe some of it had to do with the anthropology of the Gethenians: like, the visitors are unable to conceive of their relationships outside of a heteronormative gender binary, which in a way, makes all Gethenian relationships queer, even if not homosexual, if that makes sense. I’m maybe a third of the way through at present. Reading really slowly so I can savor the language ☺️


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