Ursula Le Guin, The Dispossessed

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By the time

The Dispossessed


a novel in the Hainish cycle of stories, emerged in 1974, Ursula K. Le Guin had already established herself as a literary heavyweight of speculative fiction. Her Earthsea trilogy (1968-1972) cemented her reputation as a master of children’s fantasy, but her breakthrough in science fiction came with

The Left Hand of Darkness

(1969), which garnered instant critical acclaim and, like

The Dispossessed,

won both a Hugo and a Nebula Award, SF’s two highest honors. Still, what set

The Dispossessed

apart, beyond the effectiveness and power of its narrative, was how the novel revived—almost single-handed—the genre of utopian literature. Although various utopian novels had appeared sporadically in the decades prior, including

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,


2591 words

Citation: Wise, Dennis Wilson. "The Dispossessed". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11789, accessed 20 April 2024.]

11789 The Dispossessed 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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