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The Found and the Lost: The Collected Novellas of Ursula K. Le Guin
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The Found & the Lost discussion > "A Woman’s Liberation" by Ursula K. Le Guin

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

This is our discussion of the short story....

" A Woman’s Liberation " by Ursula K. Le Guin

(Originally published 1995, Asimov's Science Fiction, July 1995, Four Ways to Forgiveness)

From the anthology The Found and the Lost: The Collected Novellas of Ursula K. Le Guin by Ursula K. Le Guin. See The Found and the Lost anthology discussion hub for more info on the anthology and pointers to discussion of its other stories.


message 2: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea | 2665 comments So I thought the exciting thing about the Hainish stories was that we can keep jumping from world to world encountering new and interesting societies to explore. But this is the third or fourth one on this world (with what looks like at least one more to come), it's starting to get a little depressing to keep revisiting the same painful situation. In some way it's still interesting, different points of view, different periods of time (ie. a revolution doesn't necessarily solve all problems if you aren't careful what grows out of it), even different locations (homeworld vs slave world) and I probably would have enjoyed revisiting it over time in different publications, but back to back I'm getting a little tired of reading about human cruelty towards our own species.


message 3: by Brendan (last edited Mar 12, 2018 12:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments I'm guessing they included all these stories because a lot of people buying this collection (me included) haven't read Four Ways to Forgiveness. It's not pleasant material, but it does show how the Ekumen deals with planets where there are serious moral issues (not very well!) and depicts the Ekumen at its most Culture-like.


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 18, 2018 08:00AM) (new)

Brendan wrote: "I'm guessing they included all these stories because a lot of people buying this collection (me included) haven't read Four Ways to Forgiveness. ..."

Also, the title kind of promises all her Novellas in one collection :)


message 5: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 18, 2018 08:18AM) (new)

Brendan wrote: "I'm guessing they included all these stories because a lot of people buying this collection (me included) haven't read Four Ways to Forgiveness...."

The missing story from Four Ways to Forgiveness is "Betrayals", which is only a novelette, and so not eligible for this collection based on its word count. Somewhere on Yeowe there's a small, isolated rural community where the disgraced go to retire. It involves one of the leaders of the anti-Ekumen group who tried to assassinate Havzhiva in "A Man of the People". (He's disgraced not for that, but because he was caught embezzling from the 'cause' :)

Four Ways to Forgiveness has been superseded by Five Ways to Forgiveness, which added "Old Music and the Slave Women" (1999) to the set. So in a way, this Found & Lost collection is more complete than Four Ways.


message 6: by Andrea (last edited Mar 18, 2018 09:09AM) (new) - added it

Andrea | 2665 comments Betrayals is included in the short story collection - The Unreal and the Real: The Selected Short Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin. Oddly some stories like Buffalo Gals show up in both collections. The other Hain stories you mentioned in the other thread are not included here though.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

This Werel one follows Rakam, a slave girl from a Werel plantation who is caught up in the "revolution". The story eventually brings it to Yeowe, where is merges with some of the people and events from the previous story in the collection, "A Man Of The People". This story This story can be brutal and depressing at times, but eventually suggests a ray of hope.

Points of interest: The son of the plantation owner is one of those earnest, idealistic young men who's idealism, while admirable, is impractical, believing that a single magnanimous gesture can "cure" slavery, and who fails to stick around for the hard work. On Yeowe, as with previous books, we find that revolutions are messy things and as Andrea said, they don't tend to solve problem so much as shove them around; the victorious slave rebellion quickly turns into warlordism (and never even considers women's rights.)

Despite the fact that the story is often tragic, I found I ultimately enjoyed the journey.


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