‘The Word For World Is Forest’ by Ursula K Le Guin
Our book of the month is ‘The Word For World Is Forest’ written by the inimitable Ursula K Le Guin, who changed the landscape of speculative fiction with her thoughtful and feminist writing.
The book is set on a lush, wooded planet inhabited by the peaceful Athsheans. Captured by humans and used as slaves for logging on their own planet, the Athsheans adopt violence as a means of resistance – changing their own culture forever.
As the story progresses, it gives voice to the wooded planet and its people. The narrative condemns colonialism, destructive resource extraction, power inequalities, ecological destruction and war. We see Selver, of the oppressed Athsheans, transmute into something different and powerful as he resists. We love this book because through her fiction, Le Guin urges us to not just observe the connection we have with nature, but to also understand how we are positioned in it.
This September, we're reading ‘The Word For World Is Forest’ for the Champaca Book Subscription and Book Club. This is the last month where we’re exploring the theme of nature as a refuge in times of isolation. Read this book with us and join us in our book club meetings where we dive deep into the book, and what it meant for us. Join here.