Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Deals Martha Stewart American Made Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Outdoors Gift Guide on HTL
The Word for World is Forest (Hainish Cycle Book 6) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $13.99
  • Save: $3.48 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Word for World is For... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This cover has stickers and/or sticker residue. This cover has a visible crease or bend. The spine of this book is clean and solid. This cover is in very good condition. Purchase of this item helps the Friends raise funds for The Seattle Public Library.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Word for World is Forest Paperback – July 6, 2010

58 customer reviews
Book 6 of 7 in the Hainish Cycle Series

See all 21 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$7.60 $5.53
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$10.51 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Word for World is Forest
  • +
  • Worlds of Exile and Illusion: Three Complete Novels of the Hainish Series in One Volume--Rocannon's World; Planet of Exile; City of Illusions
  • +
  • The Left Hand of Darkness (Ace Science Fiction)
Total price: $35.71
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


“Le Guin writes in quiet, straightforward sentences about people who feel they are being torn apart by massive forces in society― technological, political, economic―and who fight courageously to remain whole.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“Le Guin writes with painstaking intelligence. Her characters are complex and haunting, and her writing is remarkable for its sinewy grace.” ―Time

“Like all great writers of fiction, Ursula K. L e Guin creates imaginary worlds that restore us, hearts eased, to our own.” ―The Boston Globe

About the Author

Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of more than three dozen books for children and adults. She was awarded a Newbury Honor for the second volume of the Earthsea Cycle, The Tombs of Atuan. Among her many other distinctions are the Margaret A. Edwards Award, a National Book Award, and five Nebula Awards. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 50%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 2 edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765324644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765324641
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
On the planet Athshe, there is no word for war, there is no concept of murder, there is no language of hate. The world is one vast, green, gentle forest full of people who live between the world-time and the dream-time, who resolve their conflicts by means of ceremonial singing. Then the Terran League discovers Athshe's existence and a pattern of "colonization"-very similar to the exploitation of "primitive" cultures on Earth-begins to destroy the planet and its people; and, eventually, one young Athshean named Selver learns how to hate. On reading the back cover of "The Word for World is Forest" the novel struck me as being somewhat simplistic: good aliens live in tune with nature, evil destructive humans rape their planet, revenge ensues with tidy moral at the end. I was pleasantly surprised. The contrast between humans and Athsheans is much more than good-bad or nature-machine; the story is about more than the forced loss of innocence. Over the course of the novel Selver, whose wife was raped and killed by one of the human officers, becomes a god: he is the means by which new concepts are brought into the culture, and the concept which he learns and then teaches is war. The book is as much about the irreversible exchange of truly alien ideas as it is about anything.
Despite its seemingly formulaic premise, "The Word for World is Forest" is a thought-provoking and somewhat disturbing short novel written in Le Guin's usual poetic prose.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You can count on one thing after reading a Le Guin novel: a lot to think about afterward. This book tells of future Earthlings, who have invaded a lushly forested planet called Athshea. The natives are meter-tall humanoids covered in green fur, a peace-loving tribal culture. All the humans do seems destructive and senseless, and they decide they must find a way to make them leave. Obviously an analogy of European/American relationa/attitudes toward Third World nations; in anyone else's hands this could easily become mawkish and heavy-handed. Le Guin, on the other hand, transforms it into a powerful statement.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. Ben Flasher on September 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Much as I'm in agreement with this book's message of environmentalism and nonviolence, I found its delivery of that message to be preachy, joyless, and heavy-handed. Its tale of colonist humans and their conflict with the native Athsheans transplants the worst atrocities of colonialism's past into the future, but loses any subtlety and nuance in the process.

It doesn't help that the Athsheans embody just about every romanticized stereotype of the native primitive. Like the most Disneyfied take on Native Americans, they live amongst the trees, perfectly in balance with nature. They're deeply spiritual, with a strong, aboriginal-like connection to the dream time. And, in the book's most groan-inducing conceit, they're completely peaceful, never having even conceived of murder until it's introduced to them by humans.

The humans, on the other hand, exemplify the worst habits of colonialism to a degree that strains believability. Despite the fact that the Athsheans have learned English, only one scientist, Lyubov, sees them as intelligent beings with a worthwhile culture. The rest of the colonists treat them with disdain and virulent racism, casually beating, enslaving, and raping them (or turning a blind, indifferent eye to those who do). This never quite makes sense; the humans complain that the Athsheans aren't any good as slaves (or anything else that they use them for), and the Athsheans themselves would happily avoid the humans if left to their own devices. The humans seem to be enslaving the Athsheans purely out of spite.

As polarized as the characters' views are, Le Guin does a skillful job of getting inside the head of each. Still, though she fleshes them out well and makes them believable characters, they're not particularly engaging or likable.
Read more ›
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ed Luhrs on March 22, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel moves along. No wasted words. Sharp, pertinent symbolism, surreal imagery, and great dialogue abound.

Unfortunately, I think Le Guin picked a title that prompts ordinary folk to go: huh? "The Word for World Is Forest," however, is a Le Guin masterpiece. It is charged with the best in her, the energy of her earlier days.

At her worst, Le Guin's writing can be pedantic and sleep-inducing. Yet she has written so much that is excellent that I cannot help but have a great deal of respect for her. This novel is one of the quickest jolts of science fiction fun that I have yet to experience. It moves swiftly, and its meaning stays with you for a long time.

* * *

Eleven years later, let me add: much of her newer stuff is great too. I just read some of the stories in The Birthday of the World. Wow. I need to read more. She'll always be one of my all-time favorites.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Word for World is Forest
This item: The Word for World is Forest
Price: $10.51
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: leguin ursula, they were liars, forest wind