Synopses & Reviews
The recipient of numerous literary prizes, including the National Book Award, the Kafka Award, five Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards, the renowned writer Ursula K. Le Guin has, in each story and novel, created a provocative, ever-evolving universe filled with diverse worlds and rich characters reminiscent of our earthly selves. Now, in The Birthday of the World, this gifted artist returns to these worlds in eight brilliant short works, including a never-before-published novella, each of which probes the essence of humanity.
"Ursula K. Le Guin's science fiction is an anthropology of the imagination. With telescope and stethoscope, she examines the most public of politics and the most intimate of emotions, constantly challenging her readers to reconsider what it means to be human, and to be humane." Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow and A Thread of Grace
"'First to create difference to establish strangeness then to let the fiery arc of human emotion leap and close the gap: this acrobatics of the imagination fascinates and satisfies me as almost no other,' writes Ursula K. Le Guin in a foreword to her latest batch of stories, "The Birthday of the World." The foreword is helpful for many reasons, mainly for those readers unfamiliar with Le Guin's complex universes, but especially for this glimpse of the author's mind and enthusiasm. The people, places and emotions in Le Guin's stories are typically strange, but her careful, sudden turns toward the familiar emotionally, psychologically seem like revelations of what's really important or fascinating about human life." Suzy Hansen, Salon.com
(read the entire Salon review
With The Birthday of the World LeGuin once again demonstrates her virtuosity with a superb collection of eight science fiction tales.
The first six stories in this spectacular volume are set in the author's signature world of the Ekumen, a world made familiar in her award-winning novel The Left Hand of Darkness. The seventh and title story was hailed by Publishers Weekly as "remarkable...a standout." The final offering, Paradises Lost, is a mesmerizing novella of space exploration and the pursuit of happiness.
About the Author
Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of more than one hundred short stories, two collections of essays, four volumes of poetry, and nineteen novels. Her best-known fantasy works, the Earthsea books, have sold millions of copies in America and England, and have been translated into sixteen languages. Her first major work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness
, is considered epochmaking in the field because of its radical investigation of gender roles and its moral and literary complexity.
Three of Le Guin's books have been finalists for the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and among the many honors her writing has received are the National Book Award, five Hugo Awards, five Nebula Awards, the Kafka Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and the Harold D. Vursell Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Table of Contents
Coming of age in Karhide -- The matter of Seggri -- Unchosen love -- Mountain ways -- Solitude -- Old music and the slave women -- The birthday of the world -- Paradises lost.