Dispossessed, The [50th Anniversary Edition]

A Novel

by Ursula K. Le Guin

On Sale: 11/19/2024

Dispossessed, The [50th Anniversary Edition]

Enlarge Book Cover

Dispossessed, The [50th Anniversary Edition]

A Novel

by Ursula K. Le Guin

On Sale: 11/19/2024


About the Book

One of The Atlantic’s Great American Novels

“One of the greats. . . . Not just a science fiction writer; a literary icon.” Stephen King

"Engrossing. . . . [Le Guin] is a philosopher; an explorer in the landscape of the mind." —Cincinnati Enquirer

In celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, a commemorative edition of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hugo, Locus, and Nebula Award–winning classic, a profound and thoughtful tale of anarchism and capitalism, individualism and collectivism, and one ambitious man’s quest to bridge the ideological chasm separating two worlds. This special edition includes a new foreword by Karen Joy Fowler.

The Dispossessed is the spellbinding story of anarchist Shevek, the “galactically famous scientist,” who single-handedly attempts to reunite two planets cut off from each other by centuries of distrust.

Anarres, Shevek’s homeland, is a bleak moon settled by an anarchic utopian civilization, where there is no government, and everyone, at least nominally, is a revolutionary. It has long been isolated from other worlds, including its mother planet, Urras—defined by warring nations, great poverty, and immense wealth. Now Shevek, a brilliant physicist, is determined to unify the two civilizations. In the face of great hostility, outright threats, and the pain of separation from his family, he makes an unprecedented trip to Urras. Greater than any concern for his own wellbeing is the belief that the walls of hatred, distrust, and philosophic division between his planet and the rest of the civilized universe must be torn down. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and explore differences in customs and cultures, determined to tear down the walls of hatred that have kept them apart.

To visit Urras—to learn, to teach, to share—will require great sacrifice and risks, which Shevek willingly accepts. Almost immediately upon his arrival, he finds not the egotistical philistines he expected, but an intelligent, complex people who warmly welcome him. But soon the ambitious scientist and his gift is seen as a threat, and in the profound conflict that ensues, he must reexamine his beliefs even as he ignites the fires of change.

Critical Praise

“Le Guin’s most philosophical novel. . . . The Dispossessed is a study of character, ideology and the constant of change." — New York Times

"The Dispossessed is still one of Sci-Fi's' smartest books." — Wired

“Written with thought, care—even love.” — Times Literary Supplement (London)

“Le Guin’s characters, sepecially Shevek and his family, are complex and haunting, and her writing is remarkable for its sinewy grace.” — Time magazine

The Dispossessed paints a hopeful and complex portrait of a society rooted in collectivism.”

Naomi Klein, The Week

“Engrossing . . . Ursula Le Guin is more than just a writer of adult fantasy and science fiction . . . she is a philosopher; an explorer in the landscapes of the mind.” — Cincinnati Enquirer

“A seamless creation: every thing is made up, nothing seems arbitrary...Le Guin’s book [is] written in her solid, no-nonsense prose.” — New York Times Book Review

“Brilliantly conceived and stunningly executed . . . The setting is science fiction, but the tradition is humanistic, reducing life to its essentials and examining human beings in a real world.” — Chicago Daily News

“The combination of intelligence and imagination sends ideas dancing endlessly around the brain.” — Christian Science Monitor

“The novel flashes back and forth . . . and delicately develops both the strengths and weaknesses of the two social systems, the contrasting textures of the two kinds of social experience . . . All through, this impresses with small but incalculably right choices which add up solidly and confirm Ms. Le Guin as one of our finest projectionists of brave old and other worlds.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Excellent characterization and meaningful ideas make this one of the most important [science fiction] novels of the last several years.” — Library Journal

"I would be hard pressed to think of another novel that made as strong an impression on me." — Anthony Ha, author of Love Songs for Monsters

"This remains a challenging and urgent book." — The Guardian

"Deeply worthwhile reading — subtle, challenging, exquisitely crafted." — sfsite.com

"[Ursula Le Guin] . . . is science fiction’s best ambassador to the rest of the world, ever. She has done more to show people why this is an important genre—and maybe the mode of literature we need to navigate our way into a very uncertain future—than anyone else ever will.” — Lisa Yaszek, Professor of Science Fiction Studies in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech

"One of our finest projectionists of brave old and other worlds." — Kirkus Reviews


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063414334
  • ISBN 10: 0063414333
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 11/19/2024
  • Pages: 384
  • List Price:43.50 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Science Fiction / Space Exploration
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Visionary & Metaphysical
  • BISAC4 : FICTION / Dystopian
  • BISAC5 : FICTION / Nature & the Environment
  • BISAC6 : FICTION / Feminist
  • BISAC7 : FICTION / Contemporary Women
  • BISAC8 : FICTION / Political
  • BISAC9 : FICTION / Fantasy / Contemporary
  • BISAC10 : FICTION / Science Fiction / Time Travel

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