A Time of Changes
by Robert Silverberg (Published by Galaxy Science Fiction and Nelson Doubleday)
Winner, Best Novel in 1971
In the far future, Earth is a worn-out backwater and humanity is spread across the galaxy on worlds that began as colonies, but now feel like home, each with its own long history of a thousand years or more, and each with its own unique culture. One of the strangest is on Borthan, where the founding settlers established the Covenant, which teaches that the self is to be despised, and forbids anyone to reveal his innermost thoughts or feelings to another. On Borthan, the filthiest obscenities imaginable are the words “I” and “me.” For the heinous crime of “self-baring,” apostates have always paid with exile or death, but after his eyes are opened by a visitor from Earth, Kinnall Darival, prince of Salla, risks everything to teach his people the real meaning of being human.