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Remembering Ursula Le Guin

January 24, 2018

Visionary science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away at the age of 88.

Visionary science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away at the age of 88 in her Portland, Oregon home. Le Guin’s decades-long career is filled with award-winning novels, short stories, poetry, and essays that grapple with complex social and political subjects in beautiful, otherworldly settings—including our own.

Her most well-known works include The Left Hand of Darkness, a novel that shook up our assumptions about gender, The Dispossessed, which explores the complexities of utopia and freedom, and the Earthsea series, a high-fantasy epic with Taoist influences. She has also authored beloved children’s and YA series, from the classic Catwings to the more recent Annals of the Western Shore. In her nonfiction, she elaborated upon her feminism, her concerns for the environment, and the uses of language and literature.

She is the recipient of many literary honors, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, and was deemed a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000. A pioneer for women in literature and a passionate advocate who wielded the genres of science fiction and fantasy in innovative ways, her impact on American art, history, and culture will be felt for generations to come. A quote from her reception speech at the National Book Awards in 2014 speaks volumes to her legacy: “I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries, the realists of a larger reality.”

Check out her most recent title No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters.

- D.J. Hudson, Main Library

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