Postcolonialism/s, Gender/s, Sexuality/ies and the Legacy of The Left Hand of Darkness: Gwyneth Jones's Aleutians Talk Back
The Yearbook of English Studies
This article attempts to bring together postcolonial theory, contemporary theories of sexuality, predominantly queer theory, and SF in an examination of two works that speak with great force to the colonial/postcolonial condition: Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) and Gwyneth Jones's Aleutian series. Both works can be read as interrogations of our current sex/gender system and its implications for the relations between women and men; both consider the implications of `first contact' with an `alien' race in ways that could be considered anticolonial or postcolonial. It is thus possible to read the Aleutian trilogy not only as an intervention into the same issues and debates that underwrite Le Guin's novel, but also as a response to that novel's critical legacy.