FOUR WAYS TO FORGIVENESS
Ursula K. Le Guin
Four connected long stories from Le Guin (A Fisherman of the Inland Sea, 1994, etc.) featuring the planets Yeowe and Werel, the latter a slave-owning oligarchy, the former its colony. Contact by the wise, multi-planet space civilization, the Ekumen, lends impetus to revolutions on both worlds. The slaves of Yeowe oust their brutal Bosses after a savage seven-year struggle; later, the slaves of Werel rise up to topple their Owners. But on Yeowe the women discover that they have overthrown the Bosses only to be oppressed by their own menfolk; and so begins their slow but implacable fight for equality. In "Betrayals," the disgraced but enlightened revolutionary Abberkam finds redemption in his burgeoning love for the teacher Yoss. "Forgiveness Day" tells the tale of Solly, the Envoy of the Ekumen of Werel, who, at the beginning of the slaves' revolt, is kidnapped and imprisoned with punctilious but honorable soldier Teyeo, her bodyguard. Havzhiva of Hain, Solly's assistant, is "A Man of the People" who helps the women of Yeowe with their own nonviolent revolution. And "A Woman's liberation" is narrated by Radosse Rakam, born a slave on Werel, eventually to become instrumental in the women's revolution on Yeowe--and Havzhiva's beloved. Whether constructing a moving and expressive love story, or articulating the feminist subtext, there is no more elegant or discerning expositor than Le Guin.