‚Äč Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Summer Reading 2018: The Left Hand of Darkness

All the book choices for Summer Reading 2018. Have questions? Ask Sarah, Katie or Hilda

Here's why Geoff suggests The Left Hand of Darkness...

You'll find no space battles, light sabers, or alien beasts in this science fiction novel. Instead, LeGuin smartly explores ideas as diverse as friendship, trust, and gender fluidity in this acclaimed book. Honor her passing earlier this year by reading this with me (and please, help me figure out the significance of the title).

About the book

The Left Hand of Darkness

by Ursula K. Le Guin

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 choose -and 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. --Goodreads.com

“[A] science fiction masterpiece.” —Newsweek

“Stellar...A triumphant return to the magic-drenched world of Earthsea...Le Guin is still at the height of her powers, a superb stylist with a knack for creating characters who are both wise and deeply humane. A major event in fantasy literature.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“No single work did more to upend the genre’s conventions than The Left Hand of Darkness.” —The Paris Review

About the reader

 Geoff Ruth, Academic Dean

Geoff previously recommended:

  • The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • The Curfew by Jesse Ball
  • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
  • The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean
  • Snowball Earth by Gabrielle Walker
  • Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert