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  1. Alexander, Lloyd — The Black Cauldron
  2. Anthony, Piers — Letters to Jenny
  3. Cooper, Susan — Over Sea, Under Stone
  4. Proulx, Annie — Close Range: Wyoming Stories
  5. Kincaid, Jamaica — Lucy
  6. Christie, Agatha — The Unexpected Guest
  7. Dick, Philip K. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  8. Cooper, Susan — The Dark Is Rising
  9. Cooper, Susan — Greenwitch
  10. Shaffer, Peter — Amadeus
  11. Anonymous — Go Ask Alice
  12. Cooper, Susan — The Grey King
  13. Martin, Steve — Shopgirl
  14. Cooper, Susan — Silver on the Tree
  15. Gaiman, Neil — Stardust
  16. Gaiman, Neil — Coraline
  17. Le Guin, Ursula — A Wizard of Earthsea
  18. Le Guin, Ursula — The Tombs of Atuan
  19. Le Guin, Ursula — The Farthest Shore
  20. Le Guin, Ursula — Tehanu

I didn't enjoy Tehanu as much as I did the previous three Earthsea books. I'm not sure if the subject matter wasn't as interesting, or if Le Guin's writing simply wasn't up to her standard. Only the last chapter began to get interesting. It's almost as if this book's sole purpose was to create a bridge to The Other Wind.

I was also bothered by several inconsistencies between Tehanu and the rest of the series. The most glaring one deals with the Master Summoner of Roke: at the end of The Farthest Shore, we learn that he has managed to make it back from the dry land; in Tehanu we're told that, no, he never did and died.

Maybe I need a break from the series. I would still like to read Tales from Earthsea and The Other Wind, but first there are other worlds and authors I should explore.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2006 04:14 am (UTC)
It's almost as if [Tehanu]'s sole purpose was to create a bridge to The Other Wind.

Seems unlikely -- if I recall correctly there was something like 20 years between the writing of the two books. I don't know if she was even intending or expecting that there would be more Earthsea books after Tehanu.
May. 10th, 2006 05:23 am (UTC)
Actually, Tehanu's major purpose was to reimagine Earthsea in the context of Le Guin's discovery of feminist literary thought in the 20 year interim (not that she was ignorant of it; it didn't exist per say when she wrote the first books). She was distressed at her realization that, while she had successfully challenged long-standing limitations of the all-white world of Tolkienesque high fantasy, she had thoroughly bought into its glorification of patriarchy -- totally understandable considering what she had grown up reading! Nevertheless she felt a powerful need to revisit Earthsea to address these concerns. Her own writings on the topic are fascinating. She's a smart, smart woman.
May. 10th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC)
Technically, 18 year gap (FS 1972, T 1990, TFE and OW 2001).
May. 10th, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks for correcting my top-of-the-head estimate above (it was late at nigh and I didn't feel like looking for the books). Tehanu was later than I thought.
May. 10th, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I had to look it up. But it seemed like more fun than writing my paper.
May. 10th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC)
The story Winter's King bears a somewhat similar relationship to The Left Hand of Darkness. In the story (written later than the novel, but taking place several generations earlier), she gives the characters masculine titles ("king", "lord") but refers to them with feminine pronouns, and is explicit in her introduction that she was doing this to make a point.

She's a smart, smart woman.

To put it mildly.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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