Tag: the left hand of darkness

How Ursula K. Le Guin Got Her Feminist Groove On

Before George Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020, I was reading only Ursula K. Le Guin. It was the initial Covid-19 lockdown and in that strange, restless time, I found Le Guin’s books helpful. Availing myself of her wisdom was water in the political and social desert of wise elders and leadership being experienced in the U.S. I read The Left Hand of Darkness, The Disposessed, and The Lathe of Heaven. There were three other books that had been hanging out together as a set in a little box on my bookshelf for many years, which I was...

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The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin: Ambisexuality, both male and female in the same body, explored in a novel written in 1969 by one of the greatest thinkers of our time.

In the preface to the 2019 edition of the novel, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, the second book on my list of Covid-19 reading, David Mitchell, calls Le Guin a “thought experimenter.” One of the thought experiments considered in this novel is, “What if gender was not fixed but serially mutable?”(LHD X). The inhabitants of the planet Gethen, called “Winter” by other planets because of its extreme and constant cold, experience a 26 day cycle where they are androgynous and celibate followed by a 2-3 day cycle of “kemmer”  “where they become sexually active...

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