by Ursula K. Le Guin

Paperback, 2004

Call number




Shambhala (2004), Edition: Reprint, 208 pages


In these stories, connected loosely but powerfully by their rugged Pacific Northwest setting, LeGuin portrays residents of a small Oregon shore town with sympathy and no sentiment. Many of the tales center around women drawn together in threes - mother, daughter, grandmother - by illness or death.

User reviews

LibraryThing member elmyra
"She says everything there is to say in three words," said Ben when he gave me the book. Well, not so much gave as left in trust. I found the three words, though I suspect they're different to Ben's.

This is a collection of stories of women. Real women. The kind of women who win the Pulitzer prize
Show More
for poetry, and the kind of women who are raped and abused and thrown down the stairs by husbands, the kind of women who become mayors and postmistresses, who hold a small town together.

As with all of LeGuin's writing, there is so much depth here that I'm going to have to read it again to see what I missed on first reading.

Bechdel: pass, comfortably; hardly a surprise.
Show Less
LibraryThing member comixminx
Not entirely sure if it should be a three- or four-star rating, I plumped for the lower because, though I did like parts of it a lot, in the end it's purposefully disjointed. There are two sections; the first part is stories or snippets about people in modern-day seaside small town Klatsand, and
Show More
the second being out-of-time snippets about one particular group of mothers and daughters, comprising four generations in total.

It's very engrossing in parts, and then other parts left me cold. The swathes of quasi-poetry didn't do much for me, but the details of life and love and thoughts were what I stayed for. All in all, not a usual UKLG book. Interesting to read but not going to top my list of her works.
Show Less
LibraryThing member veracite
Still one of the best writers ever.
LibraryThing member DinadansFriend
Finely drawn character studies of sad women in small towns. not the usual thing from Le Guin, but well done.
LibraryThing member whitewavedarling
Le Guin's writing is magnificent, and the characters here are as carefully drawn as any you'll find. That said, while I enjoyed her writing and the various snippets of life here, the work didn't suck me in as Le Guin's work usually does. I read as much mainstream literary fiction as I do fantasy
Show More
and science fiction, though I found Le Guin through her fantasies, but this just felt a bit more languid and disjointed than I would have preferred. Some of the usual magic was there, but then again, some wasn't.

All in all, Le Guin readers will enjoy her normal grace of language and character, but this isn't one I'll remember as one of my favorite works of hers. In fact, beautiful as the language was, this collection probably falls somewhat at a lower level than either the poetry or the fiction I've read from her in the past. A relaxing read with utterly gorgeous language and detailed believable characters...but not one that will stick with me, though the first few stories in the book may well remain with me for a while and bear coming back to.
Show Less
LibraryThing member elenaj
Worth savoring.
LibraryThing member mmparker
I don't think I can review a LeGuin book in a way that's useful for other people. Everything she does - even this quietest of her books - wrecks me.


Oregon Book Awards (Winner — Fiction — 1992)




159030084X / 9781590300848
Page: 0.2086 seconds