Space Crone

I was unfamiliar with the titular essay in this collection, but as soon as I heard it, I realized with a start that my one great longing in life is to become a space crone. The collection contains a wide variety of Le Guin’s writing on gender and feminism, cutting across both fiction and non-fiction. Also included is her famous essay, “Is Gender Necessary?” with a number of annotations and corrections she made following its original publication; one of my favorite short stories, “Sur,” about a group of women who venture to the South Pole; and her final work of fiction, an expansion of one of the tales in Always Coming Home, her most experimental and least understood novel. In the afterword, Le Guin reflects on what it’s like to write in later life: “I want to tell people, ‘Don’t be afraid of getting to fifty, sixty, even seventy. If you got your health and something to live on, they can be really good years.”