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.
About Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching
No other English translation of this greatest of the Chinese classics can match Ursula Le Guin’s striking new version. Le Guin, best known for thought-provoking science fiction novels that have helped to transform the genre, has studied the Tao Te Ching for more than forty years. She has consulted the literal translations and worked with Chinese scholars to develop a version that lets the ancient text speak in a fresh way to modern people, while remaining faithful to the poetic beauty of the work. Avoiding scholarly interpretations and esoteric Taoist insights, she has revealed the Tao Te Ching ‘s immediate relevance and power, its depth and refreshing humor, in a way that shows better than ever before why it has been so much loved for more than 2,500 years. Included are Le Guin’s own personal commentary and notes on the text. This new version is sure to be welcomed by the many readers of the Tao Te Ching as well as those coming to the text for the first time.
“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