The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There are those books that it just seems like they arrive at the perfect time. This is one of those books. It is the story of Shevek, a fiercely individualistic physicist, from an anarchist society, who travels to a long forbidden "profiteer" society A-io(clearly meant to be capitalist USA) on the planet Urras to possibly re-open communication/interaction between these two closed-off societies (on Urras there is also Thu which stands in for the totalitarian Soviet Union). With alternating storylines that reflect the protagonist's work in physics (time and space, nonlinear) we learn about these two richly drawn societies through Shevek's experiences and find both the good/bad in them. Most importantly the novel continuously pushed me to consider what complete "freedom" actually is and whether it is possible (or even always a good thing). I have a very clear desire for autonomy and community... this was one of the fullest explorations of what that would consist of (the depiction of the anarchist society Annarres), the advantages, the difficulties, the drawbacks, and the possible rewards.
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