Title: Four Ways to Forgiveness
Author: Ursula K. LeGuin
It took me a while to get into Four Ways to Forgiveness. The first story was a bit sleepy, and I had trouble understanding the point of it all. But as this collection of four Hainish short stories progresses, the themes surrounding enslavement and gender politics become more clear. This is one of the books in which LeGuin bares her politics. As she so often does, she does it well.
The book looks at the same story from multiple angles; each protagonist has a unique viewpoint on the situation. While the story that sticks with me the most is the story of the 1,100-old impeccably immature Alien Envoy, the most moving was probably a woman trying to explain how eradication of slavery had done nothing to destroy a woman's slavery.
With LeGuin's writing, it's hard not to be emotionally captivated, although I have to admit that it was more than the first story that was slow moving. There were parts where it certainly caught up, but the sleepiness of the prose certainly made it difficult for me to completely identify with the book... even if I agreed heavily with its politics.
And that's not to say that I didn't like it. It simply took me longer than I'd expect because it was harder to stay focused on it. I greatly enjoyed Four Ways to Forgiveness and would like to apologize to it. I feel like it might have been better served with a longer reading, perhaps with other books interspersed.
Yeah. I really need to stop reading books of short stories all at one.