Scattered among poor, desolate farms, the clans of the Uplands possess gifts. Wondrous gifts: the ability – with a glance, a gesture, a word – to summon animals, bring forth fire, move the land. Fearsome gifts: They can twist a limb, chain a mind, inflict a wasting illness.
The Uplanders live in constant fear that one family might unleash its gift against another. Two young people, friends since childhood, decide not to use their gifts. One, a girl, refuses to bring animals to their death in the hunt. The other, a boy, wears a blindfold lest his eyes and his anger kill.
In this beautifully crafted story, Ursula K. Le Guin writes of the proud cruelty of power, of how hard it is to grow up, and of how much harder still it is to find, in the world's darkness, gifts of light.
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (1929-2018) was an American author. She has written novels, poetry, children's books, essays, and short stories, most notably in the fantasy and science fiction genres.
Le Guin was first published in the 1960s. Her works explore philosophical, psychological and sociological themes. She has received several Hugo and Nebula awards, and was awarded the Gandalf Grand Master award in 1979 and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Award in 2003.
Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, the daughter of the anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber and the writer Theodora Kroeber. Her father was granted the first Ph.D. in Anthropology in the United States in 1901 (Columbia University). She