Dancing at the Edge of the World

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Paperback, 1997


Checked out
Due 1-07-2020

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Grove Press (1997), Edition: 1st Pbk. Ed, 320 pages


"I have decided that the trouble with print is, it never changes its mind," writes Ursula Le Guin in her introduction to Dancing at the Edge of the World. But she has, and here is the record of that change in the decade since the publication of her last nonfiction collection, The Language of the Night. And what a mind -- strong, supple, disciplined, playful, ranging over the whole field of its concerns, from modern literature to menopause, from utopian thought to rodeos, withan eloquence, wit, and precision that makes for exhilarating reading.

User reviews

LibraryThing member figre
Readers often make the mistake that, because they have read an author’s works, they know that author. Never true. Yet, as you read, you can build a familiarity with that author if you are willing to recognize the wall that will always exist between the author and the reader. (The fallacy is probably stronger when these perceptions are built on fiction rather than essays or autobiographies.) Of all authors, I feel I “know” Harlan Ellison best. But, that is only because I’ve read his works extensively, read large volumes of his essays, listened (on tape and in person) to his lectures, and frequent his web site (where he actually posts.) All that being said – I don’t know him. I feel I would like to know him. But, until there is one-on-one conversation, none of us can begin to really know a person.

And now, after reading Dancing at the Edge of the World, I think I would like to know Ursula K. Le Guin. This is a fine collection of her essays and speaking engagements. As any full collection will be, it is uneven. However, there is a feel to them, a sense that this is an individual who cares, a sense that this is person is “human” (I have no better word.) In these essays, Le Guin comes off as someone you want to sit down with and talk about things, for a long time – personal things, important things, whatever things come up. The essays focus on feminism, social responsibility, literature, and travel, but (as with any good essay) they bring up ideas that will resonate within your personal issues and concerns. (And the things I learned – I never knew her mother wrote Ishi – a book all anthropology majors know). It’s been a while since I dog-eared a copy of a book to remember ideas – and I did so a number of times with this one – and, just imagine, part of the reason was because I saw an application in my business life as an internal auditor. A collection that is well worth the reading, and a nice introduction to, what appears to be, a wonderful human being.
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LibraryThing member ronincats
I have been greatly enjoying reading this book as my bathtub book for the first 2/3 of July. Long on my shelves, I pulled it out in response to the July Nonfiction Challenge: Creators and Creativity. And it fit the billing perfectly. This is a collection of Le Guin's talks, essays and reviews from 1976 to 1988. I only have half a dozen tags sticking out of the pages, but I could have had 4 times that number. The leisurely pace of reading an article a day left space for taking the time to let the ideas emerge and submerge themselves in my consciousness as she talks about writing, women and women's experience of writing and how it may differ from men's, and some perfectly lovely travelogue diary excerpts where one wants to roll oneself in the luxuriousness of the written language. She is sharp, acerbic, wise, deep, tolerant, critical, and creative. I immediately went to Amazon to buy her latest nonfiction collection, [Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, with a Journal of a Writer’s Week], skipping over the two collections in between (for the time being, at least) as I want to see what she is thinking about NOW after reading her thoughts of 30 years ago.… (more)
LibraryThing member amaraduende
This is such intelligent, engrossing writing. I made my husband listen to me read several of the essays outloud so that I could discuss them with him. If you are a woman, or know one, do yourself a favor and read this. You might not agree with what she says, but she makes coherent, passionate arguments that are worth your time.… (more)


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Physical description

320 p.; 5.75 inches


0802135293 / 9780802135292
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