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Shambhala Spring 2019

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Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching
A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way
By (author): Ursula K. Le Guin
9781611807240 Paperback, Trade English General Trade RELIGION / Taoism May 14, 2019
$22.95 CAD
Active 5.51 x 8.47 x 0.41 in 136 pages Shambhala
A rich, poetic, and socially relevant version of the great spiritual and philosophical classic of Taoism from one of America’s leading literary figures.

In this landmark modern-day rendition of the ancient Taoist classic, Ursula K. Le Guin presents Lao Tzu’s time-honored and astonishingly powerful philosophy like never before. Drawing on a lifetime of contemplation and including extensive personal commentary throughout, she offers an unparalleled window into the text’s awe-inspiring, immediately relatable teachings and their inestimable value for our troubled world.

Publication History: Shambhala, 1998 (TR, 9781570623950)

A classic of world literature: The Tao Te Ching is a perennial favorite among spiritual literature worldwide and a treasure of our global intellectual heritage. It has been translated into dozens of languages worldwide and into English more times than any other book except the Bible.

Contemporary relevance: Le Guin’s version of this widely read work of spirituality and profound philosophy avoids religious esotericism and instead focuses on the Tao Te Ching’s immediately comprehensible themes of universality, joie de vivre, and subversive feminine power—showing not only why it has so been so profoundly influential over the centuries but also how it can have the power to benefit the future of humanity.

A decorated and influential author: Best known for her science fiction, fantasy, and young adults books, Ursula K. Le Guin has published over eighty short stories, two collections of essays, ten books for children, several volumes of poetry, and sixteen novels. She has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Horn Book Honor, Hugo Awards (5 times), National Book Award, Nebula Awards (5 times), a Pushcart Prize, and more.

A powerful female voice: A prevailing theme in Le Guin’s literature is a rejection of patriarchy, and her interpretation of the Tao Te Ching presents Lao Tzu’s text as an explicitly feminine, nonpatriarchal spiritual manifesto. In our contemporary climate, Le Guin’s spiritual vision remains as relevant as ever. And her recent passing in 2018 has given more focus to discussions surrounding her profound and sometimes controversial ideas about inclusivity, personal empowment, and the transcendence of long-held patriarchal assumptions about social well-being.

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018) is an internationally celebrated author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, and essays, including The Left Hand of Darkness, Always Coming Home, and the Earthsea Cycle series. Her numerous literary awards include six Nebula Awards, seven Hugo Awards, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Award, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

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“Among the many translations of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, Ursula K. Le Guin’s new version is a special treasure—a delight. There is something startlingly fresh and creatively alive here, brought forth by Ms. Le Guin’s intuitive and personal ingenuity.”—Chuangliang Al Huang, founder of the Living Tao Foundation and coauthor (with Alan Watts) of Tao: The Watercourse Way
“A student of the Tao for several decades, Le Guin has created an English text that will speak to modern readers in a fresh and lively way, while conveying the humor, insight, and beauty of the original.”—Lion’s Roar magazine
“The type of work which the great Polish poet and Nobel laureate Wisława Szymborska meant when she spoke of ‘that rare miracle when a translation stops being a translation and becomes…a second original.’…The whole of Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching is well worth savoring—as much for the ancient substance as for Le Guin’s stylistic splendor.”—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

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