Dancing the Tao: Le Guin and Moral Development
Author: Sandra J. Lindow
Date Of Publication: May 2012
Dancing the Tao: Le Guin and Moral Development takes an original approach to Ursula K. Le Guin’s work – speculative fiction, poetry and children’s literature – by considering her Taoist upbringing and then looking through the lens of moral development theorists such as Carol Gilligan and Mary Field Belenky, and psychologists such as Lenore Terr and Jennifer J. Freyd. It is the most comprehensive approach to Le Guin’s moral thinking to date. A particular emphasis is put on Le Guin’s depiction of physical and sexual child abuse and its long term aftereffects such as post traumatic stress disorder. The focus throughout the book is on how morality develops through self-awareness and voice, how moral decisions are made and how Le Guin challenges readers to reconsider their own moral thinking.
This book covers all of Le Guin’s major works such as The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, the Earthsea Series, Always Coming Home, The Telling and Lavinia, and it also looks in depth at work that is rarely discussed such as Le Guin’s early work, her poetry, and her picture books.
Sandra J. Lindow has a Master’s of Science degree in Teaching English from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has taught literature, reading and writing since 1972. For twenty-five years, she worked as a Title I Reading and Writing Specialist in a treatment center for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. Presently she lives in Menomonie, Wisconsin and teaches part time at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Lindow has published widely in the area of feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy criticism including in anthologies, encyclopedias and such journals as Extrapolation, New York Review of Science Fiction, Foundation, Journal of the Fantastic and the Arts, and SF Studies. She has published seven books of poetry and has received many awards for her poetry including nineteen Rhysling nominations for the best long or short speculative poem published in a certain year.
"Dancing the Tao is an engaging and compelling study and a must read for anyone who wishes to seriously engage with Le Guin’s fiction, especially in scholarly terms. The book is a pleasure to read, expertly deals with a very complex issue of moral development, and offers an eye-opening reminder about why we so desperately need stories to make sense of our lives."
- Marek Oziewicz, HJEAS.
''Lindow’s writing is insightful and engaging and I enjoyed the attention she paid to some of Le Guin’s lesser-known works. Her analysis sparked new connections among texts that I had not previously thought of as interrelated, tracing out a literary lineage that aptly demonstrates Le Guin’s continued development as an ethically engaged writer.''
- Stina Attebery, SCIENCE FICTION STUDIES, VOLUME 40 (2013), 384-385
''In 'Dancing the Tao' Sarah Lindow presents a thorough review of the writing of Ursula K. Le Guin. To most readers Le Guin is possibly best known for her Earthsea series of books. Yet like most authors Le Guin’s ouevre is more far reaching than her most popular works. Lindow’s study follows Le Guin through young adult fiction, poetry, essays, children’s literature and more. Reading this book will give any reader a very comprehensive knowledge of the primary story line and characters in the “Le Guiniverse.”''
- Carl Badgley, 'Mythlore' 31:3/4 (2013), 125-126.
“Dancing the Tao is at once a personally engaging and academically insightful examination of Ursula K. Le Guin’s work. Crucially, Lindow makes connections among Le Guin’s well-known fiction and her work in other genres including poetry and children’s books. Revealing the complex interplay among Le Guin’s interest in the Tao, her commitment to feminism, and her recurring thematic of moral responsibility, Dancing the Tao offers an original and compelling portrait of Le Guin as a writer engaged in a central project of thinking through what it means to be a human being and a moral individual.”
– Sherryl Vint, Co-Editor, Science Fiction Studies
“Le Guin organizes her morality around two questions. How do we treat the most vulnerable among us, especially children? And how do we oppose power and violence without giving in and using power and violence?”
– Eleanor Arnason, Tiptree award-winning author of A Woman of the Iron People
“Lindow’s comprehensive and sensitive study of the moral drama at the heart of her work reminds us why Ursula K. Le Guin is one of our most beloved and important contemporary writers.”
– Brian Attebery, Editor, Journal of the Fantastic and the Arts
“Sandra Lindow cares deeply about the work of Ursula K. Le Guin, and has been subjecting it to her own critical commentary and analysis for decades. It is good to see at least part of this work in book form now.”
– David G. Hartwell, Editor, New York Review of Science Fiction
Price Uk Gbp: 39.99
Price Us Usd: 67.99
Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)