Friday, April 24, 2015

2x the Cold - Winter with a Classic

"The Left Hand of Darkness" was the Winter bonus selection for our Novella group.  It was also the March selection for Women & Children First's Women's Classics book group.  So 2x the fun!  Or 2x the discussions about gender identity, other worlds and political issues.  This is one of those books I had heard about and it makes the Best of Science Fiction lists regularly.  It's a classic.

I liked learning more about LeGuin in the course of preparing for our discussion.  She is an interesting author.  This book can be a challenge at times if you are not a fan of science fiction.  Some parts of it can get long - like the journey across the ice which some of us were reading when Chicago was at its coldest.  Brrrr....

I have questions for the narrator because he tells others stories but not his own.  He mentions that he volunteered for his mission?  Why?  Was he trying to escape something?  Did he have anyone he missed?  Anyone who missed him?

Both discussion groups agreed that when this book was written it was probably really pushing the envelope but now gender issues, and questions about male/female identification, are mainstream issues.  We could have done more to discuss the political issues in the book but there was only so much time.  If you are interested in reading this book I would suggest reading it with a group to make sure you finish it and also to talk more about it when you are done.

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