The Dispossessed, originally published in 1974, and in print ever since then, is possibly Le Guin’s most intellectually challenging novel.
It is placed far away in the future – a long distance from the earth; yet it is easy to identify with.
It is a book about two societies – one a model egalitarian, anarchist, resource-strapped society (with its flaws) and another a resource-rich, capitalist society with huge inequalities. It is a story about a physicist (also an idealist) who wants to learn from others and share his findings with the whole of humanity. It is about the benefits of community collaboration while celebrating the lonely journey of the creative genius.
The Dispossessed is a timeless tale, with a science fiction setting, but appealing from a literary point of view. It is rooted in the political issues, communal counter-culture, and women’s movement of the late 1960s and early 70s.
It is hard to put down, once you start reading it. I have read it four times over the last 20 years, and I am likely to read it many more times.
The book has been studied and analyzed by scholars and students and is a subject of research.
|Author(s)||Ursula K Le Guin|
|Initially Published In||1974|
|Publisher||Multiple – Orion Publishing Group, Harper Voyager, Easton Press, Harper & Row, Gateway|
|Formats Available||Hardcover, Paperback|
“Le Guin’s book, written in her solid, no-nonsense prose, is so persuasive that it ought to put a stop to the writing of prescriptive Utopias for at least 10 years.”
—The New York Times
Far away in the future and far away from the earth, human beings have occupied and thrived on other planetary systems, while the earth has been destroyed (our earth is not the focus in this book).