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The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Genly Ai, a native of the planet Terra (Earth), is an envoy from the Ekumen, an organization of more than eighty worlds, representing 3,000 countries, spanning one hundred light years from border to border, whose purpose is to develop commerce, communications, and, possibly, mystical unity. Ai's mission is to convince the country of Karhide on the distant planet called Gethen to join the Ekumen. His story of that mission consists mainly of his own observations with interpolated chapters of Karhide tales and myths, Ekumen data, sayings from Orgoreyn (Karhide's neighbor), and excerpts from the diary of Therem Harth rem ir Estraven, prime minister of Karhide to mad King Argaven XV.