The Telling (Book Synopsis)
by Ursula K. Le Guin's
Buy from Amazon
Page 1 of 1
ABOUT THIS BOOK:
The Telling (Harcourt, September 2000, $24.00) is set in the Hainish world of
her two most famous novels, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed.
Le Guin’s favorite literary devices is to place a stranger in a strange
culture, a tactic she uses in her utopia fantasies to help mediate between the
reader’s reality and that of her characters. Unlike her Earthsea novels, which
are pure fantasy, the Hainish novels are set in our galaxy and cover
approximately 2500 years of future history among the various settlements
colonized by the Hain, an original race that seeded other habitable planets in
our universe, including Earth, with human life.
In The Telling, Sutty, a young woman from Earth trained on Hain to be an
Observor for the interstellar Ekumen, is sent on her first mission to the
planet Aka. Expecting to find a peace-loving society based on an ancient
belief system similar to Taoism and known as The Telling, she finds instead
that The Telling has been banned and the culture of Aka radically transformed
into a restrictive society that worships pure science. The entire cultural and
religious history of the Akans has been virtually erased. For the first time
in fifty years, Sutty will be the first offworlder allowed to leave Dovza City,
the capital, and journey to Okzat-Ozkat, a small city in the high mountains
where remnants of “antiscientific cult activities” may exist.
Le Guin notes in her preface to The Telling that Aka’s strong ressemblance to
China during Chairman Mao’s cultural revolution is not coincidental. For Le
Guin, writing of an invented faraway world is really a way of making important
points about life here on earth in our own time.
Buy from Amazon
Copyright© 2000 sffworld.com, Harcourt. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing. Parts of the information has been provided by Harcourt and is printed with their permission.