The Left Hand of Darkness

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Title The Left Hand of Darkness
Author(s) Ursula K. Le Guin
Published 1969
Social Media Goodreads, LibraryThing
Purchase Available on Amazon

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin, is a classic science fiction novel originally published in 1969 that is famous for its depiction of a society where individuals have no fixed gender.

Le Guin has written extensively about her motivations and thought process while writing the book, including in the 1976 essay "Is Gender Necessary?" and a 1988 redux of the same essay.

Publisher's Summary

A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

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