Changing Planes: Stories

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“A fantastical travel guide, reminiscent of Gulliver’s Travels,” from a narrator with “the eye of an anthropologist and the humor of a satirist.” —USA Today
 
Hailed by Neil Gaiman as “a master of the craft” and Margaret Atwood as “a quintessentially American writer,” Ursula K. Le Guin is at her entertaining, thought-provoking best in this collection of ingeniously linked stories.
 
Missing a flight, waiting in an airport, listening to garbled announcements—who doesn’t hate that misery? But Sita Dulip of Cincinnati finds a way to bypass the long lines, the crowded restrooms, the nasty food, the whimpering children and domineering parents, the bookless bookstores, the plastic chairs bolted to the floor. . . .
 
With a kind of twist and a slipping bend, easier to do than to describe, Sita travels not to Denver but to Strupsirts, a picturesque region of waterspouts and volcanoes. Or to Djeyo, where she can stay for two nights with a balcony overlooking the amber Sea of Somue. This new method of “changing planes” enables Sita to visit bizarre societies and cultures that sometimes mirror our own . . . and sometimes open doors into the thrillingly alien.
 
A New York Times Notable Book and Los Angeles Times bestseller, featuring illustrations by Eric Beddows, Changing Planes is your boarding pass to fifteen worlds that are vintage Le Guin, from a recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the art of the short story.
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
Mar 4, 2014
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780544341685
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fantasy / General
Fiction / Science Fiction / General
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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For more than four decades, Ursula K. Le Guin has enthralled readers with her imagination, clarity, and moral vision. The recipient of numerous literary prizes, including the National Book Award, the Kafka Award, and five Hugo and five Nebula Awards, this renowned writer has, in each story and novel, created a provocative, ever-evolving universe filled with diverse worlds and rich characters reminiscent of our earthly selves. Now, in The Birthday of the World, this gifted artist returns to these worlds in eight brilliant short works, including a never-before-published novella, each of which probes the essence of humanity.

Here are stories that explore complex social interactions and troublesome issues of gender and sex; that define and defy notions of personal relationships and of society itself; that examine loyalty, survival, and introversion; that bring to light the vicissitudes of slavery and the meaning of transformation, religion, and history.

The first six tales in this spectacular volume are set in the author's signature world of the Ekumen, "my pseudo-coherent universe with holes in the elbows," as Le Guin describes it -- a world made familiar in her award-winning novel The Left Hand of Darkness. The seventh, title story was hailed by Publishers Weekly as "remarkable . . . a standout." The final offering in the collection, Paradises Lost, is a mesmerizing novella of space exploration and the pursuit of happiness.

In her foreword, Ursula K. Le Guin writes, "to create difference-to establish strangeness-then to let the fiery arc of human emotion leap and close the gap: this acrobatics of the imagination fascinates and satisfies me as no other." In The Birthday of the World, this gifted literary acrobat exhibits a dazzling array of skills that will fascinate and satisfy us all.

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