The Left Hand of Darkness Background

The Left Hand of Darkness Background

The Left Hand of Darkness is a science fiction novel written by Ursula K. Le Guin and published in 1969. After its publication, the novel attained great popularity, and it was just a year later that it was rewarded as the year’s Best Novel in Hugo and Nebula Awards, which are the most prestigious for science fiction writing. Thus, Le Guin gained a reputation as a major author in the field.

The novel is dedicated to the description of the world of a distant planet, Gethen, where Ekumen representatives come with a mission of goodwill - combining many planets. The purpose of the representatives is to promote the integration of the Gethen into this association.

Le Guin is a very versatile author who created works in various genres - fantasy, science fiction, and the philosophical essay. But the common leitmotif of all her work is the constant, relentless call for tolerance and acceptance of one another by any intelligent beings, no matter how repulsive at first glance their appearance, customs, and beliefs would seem. And The Left Hand of Darkness is about precisely this ideal, about how it is important to realize that any, even the most bizarre and incomprehensible creature, is a carrier of eternal suffering, a sentient soul. Only then is it just to regard such a being as simply a set of responses, functions, features, habits, traditions.

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