The Other Wind

The Other Wind

A Note

Excerpt 1

Excerpt 2



The Guardian

"...So I was surprised to learn that, 12 years ago, Le Guin extended the trilogy to a tetralogy: slightly overlapping with events in The Farthest Shore, Tehanu concentrated on the ex-high priestess of Atuan, now living among the goats of Sparrowhawk's native island, Gont. It maintained the consistency of the series but otherwise turned the premises of fantasy literature upside-down....

"Gradually, in a masterpiece of chilling narration, the whole living world becomes unable to sleep. And to fix that, the world has to become like our own, to become like our un-magical selves: to grow up.

"But there is more to The Other Wind than that: Le Guin's consistency now becomes revealed as a kind of destiny, a drive towards democracy if you like, an implicit impatience with the highfalutin genealogies such bogus mythologies are compelled to recite. Marvellously, the book contains humour, which is otherwise a kind of universal acid to children's fable: if it is funny, it corrodes everything it touches. Here it actually works. And the real magic now is the magic of writing. Early on, someone tries a spell on some goats to see if he has any magic power: 'Noth hierth malk man,' and so on. It doesn't work: 'The goats looked at him with alert disdain and moved away a little.' 'Alert disdain'! Has anyone ever come up with two better words to describe the way goats look at you? That — well, that's just uncanny."

— Nicholas Lezard
[complete review]
July 27, 2002

The Nation

"All the patterns, clues, and oppositions set up over thirty years in five other books, come to fruition and are worked out in The Other Wind. . . As far as gender goes, these books seem to me a true symbolic picture of where we are now, with no untainted source of male power, no mature authoritative leadership of any kind, caught midway in our evolution as social beings..."

— Meredith Tax
January 28 2002

The Economist

"All of Ursula Le Guin's strengths are abundantly present . . .: narrative power, tautly controlled and responsive prose, an imagination that never loses touch with the reality of things as they are..."

— Books of the Year
December 22, 2001

The Other Wind

Harcourt, Inc.
September 2001
ISBN: 0151006849

Available at Powell's Bookstore


Updated Tuesday, 18-Jun-2019 10:14:33 EDT