Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places

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9780060972899: Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places

Incisive, eloquent, crackling with ideas, this is a "mental-biography" of the award-winning fiction writer, Ursula K. Le Guin. She draws together essays, travel journals, lectures, informal talks and reviews spanning twelve years, for a fascinating peek into the mind of a remarkable woman.

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From the Publisher:

"Insightful, impassioned, sometimes lyrical, often funny . . . a trove of delights."--Los Angeles Times Book Review. "Eloquent, elegant . . . funny, sharp . . . provocative."--Washington Post

Review:

This collection of lucid, witty, warm, and intelligent "talks, essays, occasional pieces and reviews" was written with the goal "to subvert as much as possible without hurting anybody's feelings" on matters about which she says "I think I ought to stand up and be counted, lest silence collude with injustice." Her subjects, which she categorizes (and even codes for the reader) as Feminism, Social Responsibility, Literature, and Travel, offer astute observations on a variety of timely topics. What do women recently graduated from college need to know? Where do ideas come from? What are the prospects for women in writing? "No matter how successful, beloved, influential her work was, when a woman author dies, nine times out of ten, she gets dropped from the lists, the courses, the anthologies, while the men get kept... If she had the nerve to have children, her chances of getting dropped are higher still... So if you want your writing to be taken seriously, don't marry and have kids, and above all, don't die. But if you have to die, commit suicide. They approve of that." This collection offers both nutritious food for thought and excellent examples of a variety of writing styles: well-researched essays, whimsical and imaginative anecdotes, reflective personal memory. It is spiced to perfection with Ursula LeGuin's great sense of humor through which she takes herself and her subject matter just seriously enough. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Jesse Larsen

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