Sula is a novel by Toni Morrison about two women, Nel and Sula, who grow up in the Bottom, a black neighborhood in Ohio. Though their personalities diverge from an early age, Nel being far more reserved than free-sprited Sula, they become friends. After inadvertently drowning a young boy, they begin to grow apart, Nel settling down with a husband and Sula leaving Oklahoma to have numerous affairs. Upon returning to Oklahoma, Sula has an affair with Nel's husband, the two become estranged and only reconcile shortly before Sula's death.
Always Coming Home is a 1985 novel by Ursula K. Le Guin about the Kesh, a fictional group of people living in California in the future. Part of the book tells the story of Stone Telling, a Kesh woman who lived among the militaristic and patriarchal society of the Condor people. The rest of the book is a collection of essays on the Kesh, who are opposed to modern society, as well as examples of their folklore and rituals.
The Left Hand of Darkness is the story of Genly Ai, ambassador of an intergalactic confederacy known as the Ekumen, and his journey to the planet Winter. The human inhabitants of Winter are ambisexual, spending most of their time in an androgynous state and adopting male or female sexual characteristics during a monthly mating period. Genly's story explores Western conceptions of sex and gender, as well as the idea of androgyny.
The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is the story of the title city and its inhabitants. Omelas is a utopia, bright and perpetually peaceful, plentiful, and happy. Its bounty is sustained, though, by the relegation of a single hapless and faultless child in grueling poverty and squalor. All citizens are told of this fact when they come of age, and the majority are able to reconcile their lives to it. Some, though, abandon the city and walk out into the unknown.