Ursula LeGuin (1929-2018)

ursula le guinUrsula Le Guin, the acclaimed author of The Earthsea Trilogy, The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness and more than 40 other works of science fiction and fantasy, died this past Monday. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including being declared a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. Le Guin was 88.

Yale professor and literary critic Harold Bloom called her a “major stylist” who “raised fantasy into high literature.” It’s almost impossible to imagine science fiction and fantasy without her: Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks were all influenced by Le Guin’s work. Could there be a Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry without LeGuin’s wizard school of Roke in A Wizard of Earthsea (the first of Le Guin’s books I read)? Would Sheri S. Tepper have undertaken her experimental treatments of gender without the example of Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness?

If you’ve never read Le Guin and you’re curious, or if you would like to revisit her work, SPL has dozens  of her books. A partial list is below.

The Left Hand of Darkness, Lavinia, No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters, The Lathe of Heaven, The Beginning Place, Dancing on the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Women, Words and Places, A Wizard of Earthsea, Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings (for children) and Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences.

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