I read The Left Hand of Darkness with anxiety and aiming at finding the Ursula K. LeGuin that appears on the sci-fi short stories, the one that is sharp, strong, feminist, savage, intellectual, the one that makes me feel uncomfortable because I accept society rules.
Unfortunately, I did not find her.
I must confess I was a victim of marketing. I bought and read the book because everybody pon the web says: This is a world where gender is non-existent, people only get a definite sex during a few days, possible a terrestrial month, this phase is called kemmer. This story will make you think about the sexual roles and the influence of gender and its impositions on personality.
The true is: You WILL NOT find anything of that in the novel. Don’t be sad, you didn’t buy the book I did. 😢
First, the premise is right, this out-of-the-galaxy world named Winter has these beings that do not have a permanent sex defined. However, you won’t find a deep description of the society and their traditions. Furthermore, the society will seem to be bored and, moreover, dictatorial if its compared to any kind of human government. Making the premise of no-sex defined biology and in a society becomes absurd and dull, as the human world happens too be in a better condition, even though we have deep prejudices and a worldwide spread macho style.
Second, the novel is a sci-fi adventure about a black guy lost in the snow desert of an extraterrestrial planet.
I love Ursula’s short stories, but the Left Hand of Darkness is definitely a MUST PASS.