March 2011:

Book picture
The Left Hand of Darkness
by Ursula K. Le Guin

[Barnes & Noble Book Page]

Summary:

(From Barnes & Noble)

The Left Hand of Darkness explores the themes of sexual identity, incest, xenophobia, fidelity, and betrayal in a tale of an Earth ambassador, Genly Ai, who is sent to the planet of Gethen, whose inhabitants are androgynous. Through his relationship with a native, Estraven, Ai gains understanding both of the consequences of his fixed sexual orientation and of Gethenian life. As in many of her works, Le Guin incorporates a social message in her science fiction tale. Scholes feels that "the great power of the book comes from the way it interweaves all its levels and combines all its voices and values into an ordered, balanced, whole."

About the author:

(From Barnes & Noble)

Ursula K. Le Guin's first story was rejected by Amazing Stories -- back when she was 11 years old. Since then, Le Guin has become one of science fiction's most critically acclaimed authors, as well as a versatile writer of poetry, children's books, essays, and nonfiction.