January Books 26) The Language of the Night, by Ursula K. Le Guin
This book has been strongly recommended to me for years, and I am glad I finally obtained it and read it. It is a collection of Le Guin's writings about sf and fantasy, almost all from 1973 to 1978 (one piece on Philip K. Dick dates from 1967), originally published in 1979 and revised for a 1989 edition. It is all fascinating stuff, with the standout essay being "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie", which describes the rhetorical style of good (as opposed to bad) fantasy, and also includes the memorable line, "they are not only crazy but Welsh".
The other particularly remarkable piece is her 1988 fisking of her own 1976 essay, "Is Gender Necessary?", where she critiques her earlier defence of The Left Hand of Darkness, admitting that from a feminist perspective the book is not a success, and concluding that "women were justified in asking more courage of me and a more rigorous thinking-through of implications".
I am writing this in transit and may return to it for further thoughts if I have the opportunity, but meanwhile thanks to those (namely fjmhere and mylescorcoranhere).
Top LibraryThing Unsuggestion: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey