The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin

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The Left Hand of DarknessSutty, an Observer from Earth for the interstellar Ekumen, has been assigned to a new world-a world in the grips of a stern monolithic state, the Corporation. Embracing the sophisticated technology brought by other worlds and desiring to advance even faster into the future, the Akans recently outlawed the past, the old calligraphy, certain words, all ancient beliefs and ways; every citizen must now be a producer-consumer. Their state, not unlike the China of the Cultural Revolution, is one of secular terrorism. Traveling from city to small town, from loudspeakers to bleating cattle, Sutty discovers the remnants of a banned religion, a hidden culture. As she moves deeper into the countryside and the desolate mountains, she learns more about the Telling-the old faith of the Akans-and more about herself. With her intricate creation of an alien world, Ursula K. Le Guin compels us to reflect on our own recent history.

About Ursula K. Le Guin

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Ursula K. Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, in 1929. Among her honors are a National Book Award, five Hugo and five Nebula Awards, the Kafka Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Published September 11, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 275 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Telling

Publishers Weekly

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(Sept.) FYI: Le Guin is the winner of several Nebula and Hugo awards for outstanding SF, as well as of a National Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Newbery Honor and the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.

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Book Reporter

Rather, like THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, Le Guin's 1969 classic novel on gender and xenophobia, THE TELLING hearkens back to a literary tradition popularized by Swift, in which an interested but relatively inactive explorer probes a foreign culture.

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Suite 101

If one of the traits of a Dystopian regime is stamping out all opposition, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter does a pretty decent job.

Feb 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Telling

SF Site

Le Guin SF Site Review: The Other Wind SF Site Review: The Telling SF Site Review: The Dispossessed Although I'm a great admirer of Ursula K.

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Fantasy Literature

This part of the book is very thoughtful, and Le Guin’s writing is beautiful as always, so it took me a while after I closed the book to realize that there is only a perfunctory attempt at a plot here, and no character growth from Sutty.

Dec 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Telling

Strange Horizons

Le Guin's The Telling juxtaposes the grandeurs of space travel -- what the technophilic culture of the world of Aka calls "The March to the Stars" -- with the vivid but subtle beauties of everyday life: its colors, smells, sounds, and tastes, its little rituals through which people order their l...

Jan 01 2001 | Read Full Review of The Telling

The Zone

Aka is a planet with only one continent, allowing Le Guin to build a culture that had no concept of 'the foreigner' before interplanetary visitors arrived.

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