Library of America

  • Anglais Malafrena

    Ursula K Le Guin

    In a career spanning half a century, Ursula K. Le Guin has produced a body of work that testifies to her abiding faith in the power and art of words. She is perhaps best known for imagining future intergalactic worlds in brilliant books that challenge our ideas of what is natural and inevitable in human relations--and that celebrate courage, endurance, risk-taking, and above all, freedom in the face of the psychological and social forces that lead to authoritarianism and fanaticism. it is less well known that she first developed these themes in richly imagined historical fiction, including the brilliant early novel Malafrena. An epic meditation on the meaning of hope and freedom, love and duty, Malafrena takes place from 1825 to 1830 in the imaginary East European country of Orsinia, then a part of the Austrian Empire, a nation which, like its near neighbors Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Romania, has a long and vivid history of oppression, art, and revolution. itale Sorde, the idealistic heir to Val Malafrena, an estate in the rural western provinces of Orsinia, leaves home against his father’s wishes to work as a journalist in the cosmopolitan capital city of Krasnoy, where he plays an integral part in the revolutionary politics that are roiling Europe. Complete with a newly researched chronology of Le Guin's life and career.

  • In a career spanning half a century, Ursula K. Le Guin has produced a body of work that testifies to her abiding faith in the power and art of words. She is perhaps best known for imagining future intergalactic worlds in brilliant books that challenge our ideas of what is natural and inevitable in human relations--and that celebrate courage, endurance, risk-taking, and above all, freedom in the face of the psychological and social forces that lead to authoritarianism and fanaticism. it is less well known that she first developed these themes in richly imagined historical fiction set in the imaginary East European country of Orsinia, including the enchanting stories collected in Orsinian Tales. These brilliantly rendered stories recount episodes of personal drama set against a history that spans Orsinia’s emergence as an independent kingdom in the twelfth century to its absorption by the eastern Bloc after World War ii. Here is a dimension of Le Guin's extraordinary literary imagination that will surprise and delight readers. Complete with a newly researched chronology of the author's life and career.

  • Here for the first time is the complete suite of five linked stories from Ursula K. Le Guin’s acclaimed Hainish series, which tells the history of the Ekumen, the galactic confederation of human colonies founded by the planet Hain. First published in 1995 as Four Ways to Forgiveness, and now joined by a fifth story, Five Ways to Forgiveness focuses on the twin planets Werel and Yeowe, two worlds whose peoples, long known as “owners” and “assets,” together face an uncertain future after civil war and revolution.
    In “Betrayals” a retired science teacher must make peace with her new neighbor, a disgraced revolutionary leader. In “Forgiveness Day,” a female official from the Ekumen arrives to survey the situation on Werel and struggles against its rigidly patriarchal culture. Embedded within "A Man of the People,” which describes the coming of age of Havzhiva, an Ekumen ambassador to Yeowe, is Le Guin’s most sustained description of the Ur-planet Hain. "A Woman’s Liberation” is the remarkable narrative of Rakam, born an asset on Werel, who must twice escape from slavery to freedom. Joined to them is “Old Music and the Slave Women,” in which the charismatic Hainish embassy worker, who appears in two of the four original stories, returns for a tale of his own. Of this capstone tale Le Guin has written, “the character called Old Music began to tell me a fifth tale about the latter days of the civil war . . . I’m glad to see it joined to the others at last.”

  • The inaugural volume of Library of America’s Ursula K. Le Guin edition gathers her complete Orsinian writings, enchanting, richly imagined historical fiction collected here for the first time. Written before Le Guin turned to science fiction, the novel Malafrena is a tale of love and duty set in the central european country of Orsinia in the early nineteenth century, when it is ruled by the Austrian empire. The stories originally published in Orsinian Tales (1976) offer brilliantly rendered episodes of personal drama set against a history that spans Orsinia’s emergence as an independent kingdom in the twelfth century to its absorption by the eastern Bloc after World War II. The volume is rounded out by two additional stories that bring the history of Orsinia up to 1989, the poem “Folksong from the Montayna Province,” Le Guin’s first published work, and two never before published songs in the Orisinian language. From the Hardcover edition.

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