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In the Evening There is Feeling: Reading The Left Hand of Darkness


In the Evening There is Feeling is DCA’s Exhibitions reading group. It takes its name from Gertrude Stein’s 1914 book Tender Buttons and focuses, in an informal and welcoming way, on feminist and queer texts from the worlds of art and literature.

This session will introduce and discuss some of the ideas contained within Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness: an early work of feminist science-fiction that has inspired the winter season across the galleries at DCA.

Written fifty years ago, The Left Hand of Darkness is set on an icy planet called 'Gethen' (which translates to 'Winter') whose inhabitants shift and change gender continuously throughout their lives. We as readers are told the story of Gethen from a human perspective through the eyes of protagonist Genly Ai, an envoy sent to the planet to attempt to convince Gethenian governments to join an interplanetary trade coalition.

The book had a profound impact on the sci-fi genre at the time of its publication and remains hugely relevant to the world around us today, posing serious and challenging questions about gender, sexuality, the environment, language, communication, power and empire.

Copies of the book will be available to purchase in DCA shop and it is also available to borrow from public libraries in Dundee. In addition, we have three copies to lend to interested readers who may be unable to access the book in other ways. If you would like a loan of one of these copies, please email after booking your ticket for the session