Saturday, 17 November, 2018


Ursula Le Guin Dies at 88

Lisa Martin                                                       Wednesday Lisa Martin Wednesday
Hannah Rogers | 24 January, 2018, 09:47

Despite being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 - a rare achievement for a science fiction-fantasy writer - she often criticized the "commercial machinery of bestsellerdom and prizedom".

The author of "The Dispossessed", "The Left Hand of Darkness", "The Earthsea Trilogy" and other masterworks of science fiction and fantasy, she was also an acclaimed poet, short story writer and essayist. "The family of Ursula K. Le Guin is deeply saddened to announce her peaceful death yesterday afternoon", reads a message on the writer's official Twitter account, which had been active up until this month.

"The Earthsea series was clearly influenced by J".

According to the New York Times, millions of her books sold worldwide and have been translated into 40 languages.

Her breakout novel A Wizard of Earthsea was published in 1968 and became part of a series in the next few years including The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore as well as later entries such as Tehanu and The Other Wind released in the early 1990s and 2000s. "They deserve that highest of all accolades: Everyone should read them".

A member of the Class of 1947 of Berkeley High School, Le Guin was the daughter of anthropologists, Alfred L. Kroeber and Theodora Quinn Kroeber.

She said that her father's relating of Indian legends provided her introduction to fantasy worlds, prompting her to explore similarly folkloric books by Norwegian and Irish authors before her literary epiphany, at age 12, with Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany's "A Dreamer's Tales".

"What I hadn't realized, I guess, is that people were still making up myths", she later wrote in an essay. "One made up stories oneself, of course; but here was a grown-up doing it, for grown-ups, without a single apology to common sense, without an explanation, just dropping us straight into the Inner Lands". She graduated from Radcliffe University in 1951, continuing on to earn a Master's degree from Columbia in 1952. While on a Fulbright fellowship to Paris she met and married Charles Le Guin.

She died at home in Portland, Oregon. She published her first novel Rocannon's World, in 1966. Across more than 20 novels and scores of short stories, Le Guin crafted fantastic worlds to grapple with profoundly hard questions here on Earth, from class divisions to feminist theory.

Her feminist-themed 1983 "Left-Handed Commencement Address" at Mills College was ranked one of the top 100 speeches of the 20th century by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Texas A&M University. She has, in her life and in her work, always been a force for good, an acute social critic, necessary more now than ever as we watch the evil turn the world is taking. "I thought, 'That's what you think, but I know better, because I can make this writing literature'".

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