Press Release: The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula K. Le Guin
Introduced by Becky Chambers
Illustrated by David Lupton
‘Not just a science fiction writer; a literary icon’
Ursula K. Le Guin, who died earlier this year, stands as a colossus in the field of speculative fiction. Lauded by Margaret Atwood as ‘one of the literary greats of the 20th century’, she won multiple awards for The Left Hand of Darkness including the Hugo for best novel – the first woman to have won the award. It is an extraordinary novel of betrayal, loyalty, love and survival that forever changed the conversation about gender.
The Left Hand of Darkness is a masterpiece that is as urgent and relevant today as when it was written. Le Guin’s lifelong interest in anthropology and cultural diversity lay the foundation to the expertly crafted world of lethal beauty and completely believable complexity.
Genly Ai is an Envoy, a diplomat sent to make first contact with inhabited planets. Winter, a world locked in a perpetual ice age, is a particularly daunting challenge: its people are androgynous, only taking on male or female sexual characteristics during ‘kemmer’, a monthly period of change and arousal. Genly is soon caught in the dangerous machinations of politicians and kings who care little for his life, or the potential life beyond their planet.
Le Guin collaborated closely with Folio to develop the look and feel of this edition to ensure the binding, slipcase and endpapers were designed to invoke perfectly the icy atmosphere of Winter. David Lupton, who worked with the author on A Wizard of Earthsea for Folio, has provided a series of sensitive and intimate black and white illustrations that have been integrated with the text.
In her introduction, novelist Becky Chambers – herself nominated for both the Clarke and the Hugo Awards – calls the book ‘a titan’, one that gave rise to new perspectives on what fiction could be.
Bound in printed and blocked cloth. Set in Scala with Gitan Latin display. 288 pages. Illustrated title-page spread and 14 black & white integrated illustrations. Printed endpapers. Metallic printed slipcase. 9½˝ x 6¼˝
UK £34.95 US $53.95 Can $68.95 Aus $78.95
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