Personally signed by Ursula K. Le Guin, the American author best known for her works of speculative fiction, including science fiction works set in her Hainish universe, and the Earthsea fantasy series.
1992 FIRST EDITION AND NOT THE LATER 2002 PRINTING.
Norwalk, CT. Easton Press 1992. Ursula K. Le Guin "The Left Hand of Darkness". Limited Collector's Edition from the Masterpieces of Science Fiction series. Beautifully illustrated and luxuriously bound in full genuine leather.
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, in 1929. She was the bestselling author of the Earthsea books and the Hainish books, including The Left Hand of Darkness, which was awarded both the Nebula and the Hugo Awards. With the awarding of the 1975 Hugo and Nebula Awards to The Dispossessed, she became the first author to win both awards twice for novels. She passed away in 2018.
- Easton Press
- 1992 First Edition (not the later 2002 Printing)
- Full genuine leather
- Preface by Joan D. Vinge
- Illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas and Laura Brodian Kelly Freas
The Masterpieces of Science Fiction series spans the entire history of the genre and encompasses an extraordinary range of work from Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to Isaac Asimov and Douglas Adams.
Easton Press began publishing this series of novels in 1986 with commissioned introductions and artwork. There are now more than 140 volumes in the series. Each publication is bound in embossed leather of various colors with titles in 22kt gold. The pages are made of acid-neutral paper and are gilded on three sides.
About the book
The Left Hand of Darkness is a science fiction novel by U.S. writer Ursula K. Le Guin. Published in 1969, it became immensely popular, and established Le Guin's status as a major author of science fiction. The novel is set in the fictional Hainish universe as part of the Hainish Cycle, a series of novels and short stories by Le Guin, which she introduced in the 1964 short story "The Dowry of Angyar". It was fourth in sequence of writing among the Hainish novels, preceded by City of Illusions, and followed by The Word for World Is Forest.
The novel follows the story of Genly Ai, a human native of Terra, who is sent to the planet of Gethen as an envoy of the Ekumen, a loose confederation of planets. Ai's mission is to persuade the nations of Gethen to join the Ekumen, but he is stymied by a lack of understanding of their culture. Individuals on Gethen are ambisexual, with no fixed sex; this has a strong influence on the culture of the planet, and creates a barrier of understanding for Ai.
The Left Hand of Darkness was among the first books in the genre now known as feminist science fiction and is described as the most famous examination of androgyny in science fiction. A major theme of the novel is the effect of sex and gender on culture and society, explored in particular through the relationship between Ai and Estraven, a Gethenian politician who trusts and helps Ai. When the book was first published, the gender theme touched off a feminist debate over the depiction of the ambisexual Gethenians. The novel also explores the interaction between the unfolding loyalties of its two main characters, the loneliness and rootlessness of Ai, and the contrast between the religions of Gethen's two major nations.
The Left Hand of Darkness has been reprinted more than 30 times, and received high praise from reviewers. In 1970 it was voted the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel by fans and writers, respectively, and was ranked as the third best novel, behind Frank Herbert's Dune and Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, in a 1975 poll in Locus magazine. In 1987, Locus ranked it second among science fiction novels, after Dune, and literary critic Harold Bloom wrote, "Le Guin, more than Tolkien, has raised fantasy into high literature, for our time".
Praise for The Left Hand of Darkness
“[A] science fiction masterpiece.”—Newsweek
“A jewel of a story.”—Frank Herbert
“As profuse and original in invention as The Lord of the Rings.”—Michael Moorcock
“An instant classic.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Like all great writers of fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin creates imaginary worlds that restore us, hearts eased, to our own.”—The Boston Globe
“A towering figure in science fiction and fantasy.”—NPR
About the author
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin ( October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) was an American author best known for her works of speculative fiction, including science fiction works set in her Hainish universe, and the Earthsea fantasy series. She was first published in 1959, and her literary career spanned nearly sixty years, producing more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories, in addition to poetry, literary criticism, translations, and children's books. Frequently described as an author of science fiction, Le Guin has also been called a "major voice in American Letters". Le Guin said she would prefer to be known as an "American novelist".
Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, to author Theodora Kroeber and anthropologist Alfred Louis Kroeber. Having earned a master's degree in French, Le Guin began doctoral studies but abandoned these after her marriage in 1953 to historian Charles Le Guin. She began writing full-time in the late 1950s and achieved major critical and commercial success with A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) and The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), which have been described by Harold Bloom as her masterpieces. For the latter volume, Le Guin won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel, becoming the first woman to do so. Several more works set in Earthsea or the Hainish universe followed; others included books set in the fictional country of Orsinia, several works for children, and many anthologies.
Cultural anthropology, Taoism, feminism, and the writings of Carl Jung all had a strong influence on Le Guin's work. Many of her stories used anthropologists or cultural observers as protagonists, and Taoist ideas about balance and equilibrium have been identified in several writings. Le Guin often subverted typical speculative fiction tropes, such as through her use of dark-skinned protagonists in Earthsea, and also used unusual stylistic or structural devices in books such as the experimental work Always Coming Home (1985). Social and political themes, including race, gender, sexuality, and coming of age were prominent in her writing. She explored alternative political structures in many stories, such as in the philosophical short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" (1973) and the anarchist utopian novel The Dispossessed (1974).
Le Guin's writing was enormously influential in the field of speculative fiction, and has been the subject of intense critical attention. She received numerous accolades, including eight Hugos, six Nebulas, and twenty-two Locus Awards, and in 2003 became the second woman honored as a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The U.S. Library of Congress named her a Living Legend in 2000, and in 2014, she won the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Le Guin influenced many other authors, including Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie, David Mitchell, Neil Gaiman, and Iain Banks. After her death in 2018, critic John Clute wrote that Le Guin had "presided over American science fiction for nearly half a century", while author Michael Chabon referred to her as the "greatest American writer of her generation".
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- Easton Press
- Publication Date:
- Limited Edition
- Full Genuine Leather
- Ursula K. Le Guin
- Joan D. Vinge
- Frank Kelly Freas & Laura Brodian Kelly Freas