The Left Hand of Darkness has been a sentimental favourite of mine since I was first forced to read it in college. Here’s a funny story for you: when I decided in the 11th hour to change my major from Theatre to Comparative Literature, I had to take 3 lit classes in one semester. One was required of all CompLit majors, another I was delighted to squeeze into (Women in American Literature, yes!) and one I took because it was the only one with any space left: Science Fiction. Yes, I was forced to take a Science Fiction class and I was certain I would hate it. But I didn’t. And I suppose the moral of the story is, be careful what you don’t wish for, you just might get it.
Whatever your wishes, The Left Hand of Darkness is cold and aloof but still captivating and addictive. Something about the cold and the journey. There’s a fierce imagination at play here, and the characters are just endearing enough to allow you to bond with them without becoming soft. Like I said, a sentimental favourite. It sits on my shelf, like a treasured snowglobe, beckoning every once in a while to be lifted and played with, as I keep returning to reread it over and over. It’s no small coincidence that the book is well-loved over the world, and perhaps, on others as well? Be careful what you wish for – you just might fall in love with this book.