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Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (US /rsl krobr lwn/; born October 21, 1929) is an American author of novels, childrens books, and short stories, mainly in the genres of fantasy and science fiction. She has also written poetry and essays. First published in the 1960s, her work has often depicted futuristic or imaginary alternative worlds in politics, the natural environment, gender, religion, sexuality and ethnography.

She influenced such Booker Prize winners and other writers as Salman Rushdie and David Mitchell – and notable science fiction and fantasy writers including Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks. She has won the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award, each more than once. In 2014, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Le Guin has resided in Portland, Oregon since 1959.

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A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle Series Book 1)

Originally published in 1968, Ursula K. Le GuinsA Wizard of Earthseamarks the first of the six now beloved Earthsea titles. Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed deaths threshold to restore the balance.

This ebook includes a sample chapter of THE TOMBS OF ATUAN.

The Left Hand of Darkness: 50th Anniversary Edition (Ace Science Fiction)

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITIONWITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY DAVID MITCHELL AND A NEW AFTERWORD BY CHARLIE JANE ANDERS

Ursula K. Le Guins groundbreaking work of science fictionwinner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winters inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters…

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world,The Left Hand of Darknessstands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.Read moreOther Formats:See purchase optionsLao Tzu: Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the WayOct 20, 1998byUrsula K. Le Guin( 758 )$13.99A rich, poetic, and socially relevant version of the great spiritual and philosophical classic of Taoism, theTao Te Chingfrom one of Americas leading literary figures

In this landmark modern-day rendition of the ancient Taoist classic, Ursula K. Le Guin presents Lao Tzus time-honored and astonishingly powerful philosophy like never before. Drawing on a lifetime of contemplation and including extensive personal commentary throughout, she offers an unparalleled window into the texts awe-inspiring, immediately relatable teachings and their inestimable value for our troubled world. Jargon-free but still faithful to the poetic beauty of the original work, Le Guins unique translation is sure to be welcomed by longtime readers of theTao Te Chingas well as those discovering the text for the first time.Read moreOther Formats:See purchase optionsThe Tombs of Atuan (The Earthsea Cycle Series Book 2)Sep 11, 2012byUrsula K. Le Guin( 990 )$8.99One of theTime100 Best Fantasy Books Of All Time

The Newbery Honorwinning second novel in the renowned Earthsea series from Ursula K. LeGuin.

In this second novel in the Earthsea series, Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, and everything is taken from herhome, family, possessions, even her name. She is now known only as Arha, the Eaten One, and guards the shadowy, labyrinthine Tombs of Atuan.

Then a wizard, Ged Sparrowhawk, comes to steal the Tombs greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. Tenars duty is to protect the Ring, but Ged possesses the light of magic and tales of a world that Tenar has never known. Will Tenar risk everything to escape from the darkness that has become her domain?

With millions of copies sold worldwide, Ursula K. Le Guins Earthsea Cycle has earned a treasured place on the shelves of fantasy lovers everywhere, alongside the works of such beloved authors as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.Read moreOther Formats:See purchase optionsThe Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle)Oct 13, 2009byUrsula K. Le Guin( 1,661 )$5.49

One of the greats.Not just a science fiction writer; a literary icon. Stephen King

From the brilliant and award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin comes a classic tale of two planets torn apart by conflict and mistrust and the man who risks everything to reunite them.

A bleak moon settled by utopian anarchists, Anarres has long been isolated from other worlds, including its mother planet, Urrasa civilization of warring nations, great poverty, and immense wealth. Now Shevek, a brilliant physicist, is determined to reunite the two planets, which have been divided by centuries of distrust. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have kept them apart.

To visit Urrasto learn, to teach, to sharewill require great sacrifice and risks, which Shevek willingly accepts. But the ambitious scientists gift is soon seen as a threat, and in the profound conflict that ensues, he must reexamine his beliefs even as he ignites the fires of change.

The Farthest Shore (The Earthsea Cycle Series Book 3)

The National Book Awardwinning third novel in the renowned Earthsea series from Ursula K. LeGuin.

In this third book in the Earthsea series, darkness threatens to overtake Earthsea: The world and its wizards are losing their magic. But Ged SparrohawkArchmage, wizard, and dragonlordis determined to discover the source of this devastating loss.

Aided by Enlads young Prince Arren, Ged embarks on a treacherous journey that will test their strength and will. Because to restore magic, the two warriors must venture to the farthest reaches of their worldand even beyond the realm of death.

With millions of copies sold worldwide, Ursula K. Le Guins Earthsea Cycle has earned a treasured place on the shelves of fantasy lovers everywhere, alongside the works of such beloved authors as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.Read moreOther Formats:See purchase optionsLaviniaApr 21, 2008by( 580 )$9.99A transporting novel told in the voice of a girl Virgil left in the margins. It is an absorbing, reverent, magnificent story from the iconic, award-winning Ursula K. Le Guin (Cleveland Plain Dealer).

InThe Aeneid,Vergils hero fights to claim the kings daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills.

Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom, until suitors come. Her mother wants her to marry handsome, ambitious Turnus. But omens and prophecies spoken by the sacred springs say she must marry a foreignerthat she will be the cause of a bitter warand that her husband will not live long. When a fleet of Trojan ships sails up the Tiber, Lavinia decides to take her destiny into her own hands. And so she tells us what Vergil did not: the story of her life, and of the love of her life.Read moreOther Formats:See purchase optionsTehanu: Book Four (The Earthsea Cycle Series 4)Jun 20, 2008byUrsula K. Le Guin( 482 )$8.99The Nebula and Locus Awardwinning fourth novel in the renowned Earthsea series from Ursula K. LeGuin gets a beautiful new repackage.

In this fourth novel in the Earthsea series, we rejoin the young priestess the Tenar and powerful wizard Ged. Years before, they had helped each other at a time of darkness and danger. Together, they shared an adventure like no other. Tenar has since embraced the simple pleasures of an ordinary life, while Ged mourns the powers lost to him through no choice of his own.

Now the two must join forces again and help another in needthe physically, emotionally scarred child whose own destiny has yet to be revealed.

With millions of copies sold worldwide, Ursula K. Le Guins Earthsea Cycle has earned a treasured place on the shelves of fantasy lovers everywhere, alongside the works of such beloved authors as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Now the full Earthsea collectionA Wizard of Earthsea,The Tombs of Atuan,The Farthest Shore,Tehanu,Tales from Earthsea, andThe Other Windis available with a fresh, modern look that will endear it both to loyal fans and new legions of readers.Read moreOther Formats:See purchase optionsTales from Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle Series Book 5)May 4, 2001byUrsula K. Le Guin( 562 )$8.99The tales of this book, as Ursula K. Le Guin writes in her introduction, explore or extend the world established by her first four Earthsea novels. Yet each stands on its own.

The Finder, a novella set a few hundred years before A Wizard of Earthsea, presents a dark and troubled Archipelago and shows how some of its customs and institutions came to be. The Bones of the Earth features the wizards who taught the wizard who first taught Ged and demonstrates how humility, if great enough, can contend with an earthquake. Darkrose and Diamond is a delightful story of young courtship showing that wizards sometimes pursue alternative careers. On the High Marsh tells of the love of power-and of the power of love. Dragonfly shows how a determined woman can break the glass ceiling of male magedom.

Concluding with an account of Earthseas history, people, languages, literature, and magic, this collection also features a map of Earthsea. This ebook includes a sample chapter of THE OTHER WIND.

Read moreOther Formats:See purchase optionsWorlds of Exile and Illusion: Three Complete Novels of the Hainish Series in One Volume–Rocannons World; Planet of Exile; City of IllusionsDec 13, 2016byUrsula K. Le Guin( 280 )$12.99

Worlds of Exile and Illusioncontains three novels in the Hainish Series from Ursula K. Le Guin, one of the greatest science fiction writers and many times the winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

Her career as a novelist was launched by the three novels contained here. These books,Rocannons World, Planet of Exile, andCity of Illusions, are set in the same universe as Le Guins groundbreaking classic,The Left Hand of Darkness.

At the Publishers request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

The Other Wind (The Earthsea Cycle Series Book 6)

The sorcerer Alder fears sleep. He dreams of the land of death, of his wife who died young and longs to return to him so much that she kissed him across the low stone wall that separates our world from the Dry Land-where the grass is withered, the stars never move, and lovers pass without knowing each other. The dead are pulling Alder to them at night. Through him they may free themselves and invade Earthsea.

Alder seeks advice from Ged, once Archmage. Ged tells him to go to Tenar, Tehanu, and the young king at Havnor. They are joined by amber-eyed Irian, a fierce dragon able to assume the shape of a woman.

The threat can be confronted only in the Immanent Grove on Roke, the holiest place in the world, and there the king, hero, sage, wizard, and dragon make a last stand.

Le Guin combines her magical fantasy with a profoundly human, earthly, humble touch.

Read moreOther Formats:See purchase optionsThe Lathe of HeavenApr 20, 2014byUrsula K. Le Guin( 1,355 )$9.78This science fiction classic by the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author isa rare and powerful synthesis of poetry and science, reason and emotion (The New York Times).

In a near-future world beset by war, climate change, and overpopulation, Portland resident George Orr discovers that his dreams have the power to alter reality. Upon waking, the world he knew has become a strange, barely recognizable place, where only George has a clear memory of how it was before. Seeking escape from these effective dreams, George eventually turns to behavioral psychologist Dr. William Haber for a cure. But Haber has other ideas in mind.

Seeing the profound power of Georges dreams, Haber believes it must be harnessed for the greater goodno matter the cost. Soon, George is a pawn in Habers dangerous game, where the fate of humanity grows more imperiled with every waking hour.

As relevant today as it was when it won the Locus Award in 1971,The Lathe of Heavenis a true classic, at once eerie and prescient, entertaining and intelligent. In short, it does what science fiction is supposed to do (Newsweek).

as a young man, my mind was boggled; now when I read itit breaks my heart. Only a great work of literature can bridge – so thrillingly – that impossible span.Michael Chabon

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Ursula K Le Guin

American writer Ursula K. Le Guin was the author of over 20 novels, a dozen books of poetry, over 100 short stories, and several books of essays. Born in Berkeley, California, she earned a BA from Radcliffe College, an MA in Romance Literature from Columbia University, and then studied in Paris on a Fulbright fellowship. Her fiction gravitated toward the genre of science fiction, with many of her most famous books and stories examining our own world though stories combining fantasy with philosophical inquiry. Le Guins poetry collections includeFinding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems(1999). She also wrote many books for children and translated writers including Lao Tsu andGabriela Mistral. She died in early 2018.

Ursula K Le Guin The Last Interview

Ursula K. Le Guin was one of our most imaginative writers, a radical thinker, and a feminist icon. The interviews collected here span 40 years of her pioneering and prolific career.

When she began writing in the 1960s, Ursula K. Le Guin was as much of a literary outsider as one can be: she was a woman writing in a landscape dominated by men, she wrote genre at a time where it was dismissed as non-literary, and she lived out West, far from fashionable east coast literary circles. The interviews collected herecovering everything from her Berkeley childhood to her process of world-building; from her earliest experiments with genre to envisioning the end of capitalismhighlight that unique perspective, which conjured some of the most prescient and lasting books in modern literature.

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin(1929-2018) was born in Berkeley, California and lived in Portland, Oregon. She published more than twenty novels, eleven volumes of short stories, six collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation.

David Streitfeldis the editor of The Last Interview books on Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Philip K. Dick, J.D. Slinger, and Hunter S. Thompson. He is a reporter for The New York Times, where in 2013 he was part of the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family and too many books.

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Introduction by Ursula K Le Guin

Science fiction is often described, and even defind, as extrapolative. the science fiction writer is supposed to take a trend or phenomenon of the here-and-now, purify and intensify it for dramatic effect, and extend it into the future. If this goes on, this is what will happen. A prediction is made. Method and results much resemble those of a scientist who feeds large doses of a purified and concentrated food additive to mice, in order to predict what may happen to people who eat it in small quantities for a long time. The outcome seems almost inevitably to be cancer. So does the outcome of extrapolation. Strictly extrapolative works of science fiction generally arrive about where the Club of Rome arrives: somewhere between the gradual extinction of human liberty and the total extinction of terrestrial life.

This may explain why many people who do not read science fiction describe it as escapist, but when questioned further, admit they do not read it because its so depressing.

Almost anything carried to its logical extreme becomes depressing, if not carcinogenic.

Fortunately, though extrapolation is an element in science fiction, it isnt the name of the game by any means. It is far too rationalist and simplistic to satisfy the imaginative mind, whether the writers or the readers. Variables are the spice of life.

This book is not extrapolative. If you like you can read it, and a lot of other science fiction, as a thought-experiment. Lets say (says Mary Shelley) that a young doctor creates a human being in his laboratory; lets say (says Philip K. Dick) that the Allies lost the second world war; lets say this or that is such and so, and see what happens. In a story so conceived, the moral complexity proper to the modern novel need not be sacrificed, nor is there any built-in dead end; thought and intuition can move freely within bounds set only by the terms of the experiment, which may be very large indeed. The purpose of a thought-experiment, as the term was used by Schrodinger and other physicists, is not to predict the future indeed Schrodingers most famous thought-experiment goes to shwo that the future, on the quantum level, cannot be predicted- but to describe reality, the present world.

Science fiction is not predictive; it is descriptive.

Predictions are uttered by prophets (free of charge); by clairvoyants (who usually charge a fee, and are therefore more honored in their day than prophets); and by futurologists (salaried). Prediction is the business of prophets, clairvoyants, and futurologists. It is not the business of novelists. A novelists business is lying.

The weather bureau will tell you what next Tuesday will be like, and the Rand Corporation will tell you what the twenty-first century will be like. I dont recommend that you turn to the writers of fiction for such information. Its none of their business. All theyre trying to do is tell you what theyre like, and what youre like whats going on what the weather is now, today, this moment, the rain, the sunlight, look! Open your eyes; listen, listen. That is what the novelists say. But they dont tell you what you will see and hear. All they can tell you is what they have seen and heard, in their time in this world, a third of it spent in sleep and dreaming, another third of it spent in telling lies.

The truth against the world! Yes. Certainly. Fiction writers, at least in their braver moments, do desire the truth: to know it, speak it, serve it. But they go about it in a peculiar and devious way, which consists in inventing persons, places, and events which never did and never will exist or occur, and telling about these fictions in detail and at length and with a great deal of emotion, and then when they are done writing down this pack of lies, they say, There! Thats the truth!

They may use all kinds of facts to support their tissue of lies. They may describe the Marshalsea Prison, which was a real place, or the battle of Borodino, which really was fought, or the process of cloning, which really takes place in laboratories, or the deterioration of a personality, which is described in real textbooks of psychology; and so on. This weight of verifiable place-event-phenomenon-behavior makes the reader forget that he is reading a pure invention, a history that never took place anywhere but in that ulocalisable region, the authors mind. In fact, while we read a novel, we are insane bonkers. We believe in the existence of people who arent there, we hear their voices, we watch the battle of Borodino with them, we may even become Napoleon. Sanity returns (in most cases) when the book is closed.

Is it any wonder that no truly respectable society has ever trusted its artists?

But our society, being troubled and bewildered, seeking guidance, sometimes puts an entirely mistaken trust in its artists, using them as prophets and futurologists.

I do not say that artists cannot be seers, inspired: that the awen cannot come upon them, and the god speak through them. Who would be an artist if they did not believe that that happens? if they did not know it happens, because they have felt the god within them use their tongue, their hands? Maybe only once, once in their lives. But once is enough.

Nor would I say that the artist alone is so burdened and so privileged. The scientist is another who prepares, who makes ready, working day and night, sleeping and awake, for inspiration. As Pythagoras knew, the god may speak in the forms of geometry as well as in the shapes of dreams; in the harmony of pure thought as well as in the harmony of sounds; in numbers as well as in words.

But it is words that make the trouble and confusion. We are asked now to consider words as useful in only one way: as signs. Our philosophers, some of them, would have us agree that a word (sentence, statement) has value only in so far as it has one single meaning, points to one fact which is comprehensible to the rational intellect, logically sound, and ideally quatifiable.

Apollo, the god of light, of reason, of proportion, harmony, number Apollo blinds those who press too close in worship. Dont look straight at the sun. Go into a dark bar for a bit and have a beer with Dionysios, every now and then.

I talk about he gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth.

The only truth I can understand or express is, logically defined, a lie. Psychologically defined, a symbol. Aesthetically defined, a metaphor.

Oh, its lovely to be invited to participate in Futurological Congresses where Systems Science displays its grand apocalyptic graphs, to be asked to tell the newspapers what America will be like in 2001, and all that, but its a terrible mistake. I write science fiction, and science fiction isnt about the future. I dont know any more about the future than you do, and very likely less.

This book is not about the future. Yes, it begins by announcing that its set in the Ekumenical Year 1490-97, but surely you dont believe that?

Yes, indeed the people in it are androgynous, but that doesnt mean that Im predicting that in a millennium or so we will all be androgynous, or announcing that I think we damned well ought to be androgynous. Im merely observing, in the peculiar, devious, and thought-experimental manner proper to science fiction, that if you look at us at certain odd times of day in certain weathers, we already are. I am not predicting, or prescribing. I am describing. I am describing certain aspects of psychological reality in the novelists way, which is by inventing elaborately circumstantial lies.

In reading a novel, any novel, we have to know perfectly well that the whole thing is nonsense, and then, while reading, believe every word of it. Finally, when were done with it, we may find if its a good novel that were a bit different from what we were before we read it, that we have been changed a little, as if by having met a new face, crossed a street we never crossed before. But its very hard to say just what we learned, how we were changed.

The artist deals with what cannot be said in words.

The artist whose medium is fiction does this in words. The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words.

Words can be used thus paradoxically because they have, along with a semiotic usage, a symbolic or metaphoric usage. (They also have a sound a fact the linguistic positivists take no interest in. A sentence or paragraph is like a chord or harmonic sequence in music: its meaning may be more clearly understood by the attentive ear, even though it is read in silence, than be the attentive intellect).

All fiction is metaphor. Science fiction is metaphor. What sets it apart from older forms of fiction seems to be its use of new metaphors, drawn from certain great

dominants of our contemporary life science, all the sciences, and technology, and the relativistic and the historical outlook, among them. Space travel is one of

these metaphors; so is an alternative society, an alternative biology; the future is another. The future, in fiction, is a metaphor.

If I could have said it non-metaphorically, I would not have written all these words, this novel; and Genly Ai would never have sat down at my desk and used up my ink and typewriter ribbon in informing me, and you, rather solemnly, that the truth is a matter of the imagination.

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Ursula K Le Guin Biography

Caroline Le Guin, Elisabeth Le Guin, Theo Downes-Le Guin

place of death:Portland, Oregon, United States

education:Columbia University, Radcliffe College, Columbia University, Berkeley High School, Radcliffe College

Ursula K. Le Guin was an American author who was mostly known for her science-fiction books, including herEarthseaseries and the works set in theHainishuniverse. She loved fantasy and mythology since childhood. After graduating fromRadcliffe CollegeandColumbia University, she won aFulbrightscholarship to pursue her PhD in France. However, her marriage to historian Charles Le Guin put an end to her PhD plans. Soon, she had kids and was managing a writing career simultaneously. Initially, she was rejected by a lot of publishers. However, things changed when she experimented with fantasy and science-fiction. Some of her notable works wereA Wizard of Earthsea,The Left Hand of Darkness, andThe Dispossessed. Her works also included poetry, critical essays, and childrens books. She won innumerable honors, including multipleNebula,Hugo, andLocusawards. She died of a heart attack in Portland, at the age of 88.

(Oregon State University / CC BY-SA (Image Credit

Ursula K. Le Guin was born Ursula Kroeber, on October 21, 1929, in Berkeley, California, U.S.

Her father, Alfred Louis Kroeber, was an anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and her mother, Theodora Kroeber, was an author who had written the famous workIshi in Two Worlds.

Ursula was the youngest and the only girl among the four siblings in the family. Her three brothers were Karl (who grew up to be a literary scholar), Theodore, and Clifton.

The family possessed a huge collection of books. Ursula and her brothers were almost always found reading, mostly science fiction, Native American legends, and Norse mythology. The family was also often visited by academics such as Robert Oppenheimer.

They often hopped between their summer home in the Napa Valley and their home in Berkeley. At age 9, Ursula wrote a short story. She submitted it toAstounding Science Fictionat 11, but it was not selected. She thus refused to submit any work for the next 10 years.

She initially studied atBerkeley High School. In school, she was interested in poetry, mythology, and biology. However, she was not good at math.

Ursula then joinedRadcliffe Collegeand graduated with a BA degree in Renaissance French and Italian literature in 1951. AtRadcliffe, she was a member of thePhi Beta Kappasociety. Following this, she joinedColumbia Universityand completed her MA in French in 1952.

She then started working for a PhD and earned aFulbrightscholarship to study in France from 1953 to 1954.

Ursula K. Le Guin began writing full-time by the late 1950s. However, she was neglected until she delved into science-fiction and fantasy.

In her career spanning over 60 years, Ursula had written over 20 novels and more than a 100 short stories, apart from poems, literary essays, translations, and childrens books.

Two of her masterpieces wereA Wizard of Earthsea(1968) andThe Left Hand of Darkness(1969). She won both theNebulaand theHugoawards for the best novel forThe Left Hand of Darkness, thus becoming the first woman to achieve the feat.

Rocannons World(1966),Planet of Exile(1966), andCity of Illusions(1967), were Ursulas first three novels and narrated tales of the inhabitants of the imaginary planetHain.

The Left Hand of Darknesswas the fourth novel about theHainishuniverse. The book describes an unknown planet where the inhabitants are capable of turning into sexual beings for a short period every month, and each of them have the power to turn into either male or female during that time.

HerEarthseaseries began withA Wizard of Earthsea(1968), which narrated the story of student wizardSparrowhawk. It was followed byThe Tombs of Atuan(1971),The Farthest Shore(1972),Tehanu(1990),Tales fromEarthsea (2001), andThe Other Wind(2001), all part of the same series. TheEarthseaseries was initially written for children and young adults. However, Ursulas writing skills made the series a favorite for adults, too.

She also wrote a few books set inOrsinia, a fictional country. Her novels mostly consisted of descriptions of alien communities. Her 1974-released bookThe Dispossessednarrated the story of two neighboring worlds. While one of them was capitalistic, the other was anarchic.

The 1972-publishedThe Word for World Is Forestspoke about the harm that indigenous people faced in a fictional planet colonized by the people of the Earth. In 1985, Ursula releasedAlways Coming Home.

She also wrote childrens books such asCatwings Return(1999) andJane on Her Own(1999). HerAnnals of the Western Shoreseries consisted of the booksGifts(2004),Voices(2006), andPowers(2007). In 2008, she releasedLavinia, which was based on her analysis of a character from VirgilsAeneid.

Most of her essays consisted of literary criticism of fantasy fiction. She also wrote on feminism and writing. Some such essays have been collected in the anthologiesThe Language of the Night(1979),Steering the Craft(1998),Dancing at the Edge of the World(1989),Words Are My Matter(2016), andThe Wave in the Mind(2004).

The bookNo Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, released in 2017, consisted of a number of essays that had earlier been published on Ursulas blog.

Some of her collections of poems wereWild Angels(1975),Going Out with Peacocks, and Other Poems(1994),Wild Oats and Fireweed(1988),Incredible Good Fortune(2006), andFinding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems 19602010(2012).

Later in life, Ursula had retired from teaching. She also stopped writing apart from poetry. She disliked platforms such asAmazonand how they controlled reading habits of online consumers.

She often posted her suggestions for young writers on her blogBook View Caf. In 1998, she wrote the non-fiction bookSteering the Craft: A 21-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story.

Throughout her career, Ursula K. Le Guin had won numerous awards, including sixNebulas, eightHugos, and 22Locus Awards. She also won theKafka Prize.

In 2003, she became the second woman to win the title of theGrand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

In 2014, Ursula earned theNational Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She was declared aLiving Legendby the U.S.Library of Congressin 2000.

Ursula had also served as an editor and had taught courses at various educational institutes such asBennington College,Tulane University, andStanford University. She was part of the editorial boards of the journalsScience Fiction StudiesandParadoxa.

In May 1983, Ursula delivered a commencement speech for the students ofMills Collegein Oakland, California. The speech was titledA Left-handed Commencement Address.

The speech eventually gained the 82nd spot onAmerican Rhetorics list of theTop 100 Speeches of the 20th Century. It also became part of her non-fiction workDancing at the Edge of the World.

In 1953, Ursula metwhile going to France aboard theQueen Mary. They fell in love and got married in Paris in December 1953. Unfortunately, Ursula had to quit her doctoral studies after getting married.

In 1957, Ursula gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Elisabeth. In 1959, she had her second daughter, Caroline. The same year, Charles began teaching history at thePortland State University. The family thus shifted to Portland, Oregon.

In 1964, Ursula had her third child, her son, Theodore. Although Ursula earnedFulbrightgrants to travel to England in 1968 and 1975, the family continued to stay in Portland.

Ursula had grown up in a non-religious environment. However, she later drifted toward Taoism and Buddhism.

On January 22, 2018, Ursula breathed her last at her home in Portland. She was 88 at the time of her death.

Her family stated she had had a heart attack. Her son later said that Ursula was not keeping well for a few months prior to her death.

A number of private memorial services were held in her honor in Portland. One of them, held in June 2018, contained speeches by the writers Margaret Atwood, Walidah Imarisha, and Molly Gloss.

See the events in life of Ursula K. Le Guin in Chronological Order

Worlds of Ursula K Le Guin

Explore the remarkable life and legacy of late feminist author Ursula K. Le Guin whose groundbreaking work, including The Left Hand of Darkness, transformed American literature by bringing science fiction into the literary mainstream.

Best known for her science fiction and Earthsea fantasy series, celebrated and beloved author Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (19292018) wrote 21 novels, 11 volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, 12 childrens books, six volumes of poetry and four of translation during her life.American Masterspresents the first documentary film exploring the remarkable life and legacy of the prolific and versatile author:Worlds of Ursula K. LeGuin.

Produced with Le Guins participation over the course of a decade,Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guintells the intimate coming-of-age story of the Portland, Oregon, housewife and mother of three who forever transformed American literature by bringing science fiction into the literary mainstream. Through her influential work, Le Guin opened doors for generations of younger writers like Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon and David Mitchell all of whom appear in the film to explore fantastic elements in their writing.

The film explores the personal and professional life of the notoriously private author through revealing conversations with Le Guin as well as her family, friends and the generations of renowned writers she influenced. Visually rich,Worlds of Ursula K. LeGuinillustrates the dramatic real-world settings that shaped Le Guins invented places using lush original animations over her own readings of her work to provide a firsthand experience of her fantastic worlds.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guinbegins with Le Guins early struggle to get published in the overwhelmingly male and realism-dominated climate of the early 1960s. Her first major breakthrough came with the young adult novel A Wizard of Earthsea, set in a magical archipelago inhabited by wizards and dragons. Along with groundbreaking novels like The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, Earthsea crowned Le Guin as the queen of science fiction by the end of the decade. But as a woman and a genre writer, she still faced marginalization that hobbled her career until the last decade of her life, when she won the National Book Foundations lifetime achievement award and became the second living author to have their work anthologized by the Library of America.

The film dives into Le Guins childhood, steeped in the myths and stories of Native Americans she heard growing up in Berkeley, California, as the daughter of prominent 19thcentury anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and writer Theodora Kroeber, author of the influential book Ishi in Two Worlds. This deep childhood understanding of cultural relativism infused her work with a unique perspective; her otherworldly societies are all in some way reflections of our own.

At the heart of the film is Le Guins intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author. What I was doing was being a woman pretending to think like a man, she says, reflecting on why her early novels put men at the center of the action. But as second-wave feminism crashed into the science fiction world in the 1970s, Le Guin recognized her own internalized notions about heroism and power. Initially defensive, she found truth in the criticisms of her work. When revisiting the realm of Earthsea, she turned her gaze to its women, instead of powerful male wizards. The result was a transformation that echoed throughout the rest of her oeuvre. By embracing her own identity and learning to write as a woman, she eventually rose to the height of her literary power. Working across many genres, Le Guin received numerous honors, including the National Book Award, Hugo Award, Nebula Award, PEN-Malamud, and she was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guinhad its world premiere at the Sheffield Documentary Festival and has shown internationally at dozens of festivals, garnering numerous awards.

It was important to think about privilege and power and domination in terms of gender. Which was something that fantasy had not done.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guinis a production of Arwen Curry in association with the Center for Independent Documentary and THIRTEENsAmerican Mastersfor WNET. The film is directed by Arwen Curry, who is also a co-producer with Jason Andrew Cohn and Camille Servan-Schreiber. Michael Kantor isAmerican Mastersseries executive producer.

Launched in 1986 on PBS,American Mastershas earned 28 Emmy Awards including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special 14 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards, and many other honors. To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present,American Mastersoffers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, theAmerican Masters Podcast, educational resources and more. The series is a production ofTHIRTEENPRODUCTIONS LLC forWNETand also seen on the WORLD channel. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details).

WNET is Americas flagship PBS station: parent company of New YorksTHIRTEENandWLIW21and operator ofNJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its newALL ARTSmulti-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including NATURE, GREAT PERFORMANCES, AMERICAN MASTERS, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND, and the nightly interview program AMANPOUR AND COMPANY. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, childrens programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multi-platform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.

Major support forWorlds of Ursula K. Le Guinis provided, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanities, bringing you the stories that define us. Additional support for is provided by: California Humanities, Berkeley Film Foundation, Alex Borstein, Kent Rasmussen & Celia Ramsay, Paul D. Jarman, Mary Kay Kare, and others.

Support forAmerican Mastersis provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AARP, Rosalind P. Walter, Judith & Burton Resnick, The Cheryl & Philip Milstein family, Vital Projects Fund, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Seton J. Melvin, Philip & Janice Levin Foundation, Ellen & James S. Marcus, The Andr and Elizabeth Kertsz Foundation, The Ambrose Monell Foundation and public television viewers.

♪♪ (soft upbeat music) – [Announcer] Major support for the worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin provided in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Bringing you the stories that define us.

[ Siren wailing ] [ Suspenseful music plays ] [ ] [ Warbling ] Being: ♪♪ Woman: Aaaaaaaaah!

Le Guin: Fantasy and science fiction, when I began writing, were, particularly in America, strictly genre.

♪♪ The magazines were pulp magazines.

Gaiman: What Ursula was having to navigate was the societal prejudices against science fiction, against the fantastic, and against childrens fiction.

All of these things were marginalized.

Atwood: People would think, Ray guns and silly things.

[ ] Le Guin: I knew that my work was not second-rate; that it was of literary value.

Id like us not to be resigned, but to be rebellious.

I want to see science fiction step over the old walls and head right into the next wall and start to break it down, too.

Imaginative fiction trained people to be aware that there are other ways to do things and other ways to be, that there is not just one civilization and it is good and it is the way we have to be.

♪♪ I think it trains the imagination.

♪♪ Charles: Okay. Were almost there.

[ Turn signal clicking ] Charles: Now, youre going in the back door?

[ Turn signal clicking ] [ Applause ] Thank you, Powells. Dear Powells.

[ Laughter ] Its so nice always to come back here.

There are an awful lot of books about writing here and they tend to be very full of rules, Do this. Dont do that.

I dont talk about rules because I have come to believe that every story must make its own rules and obey them.

[ Mid-tempo tune plays ] Kroeber: Ursula, she was going to be a writer.

I mean, thats what she needed to do.

[ Birds chirping ] [ Bicycle bell ringing ] We started at Radcliffe in the fall of 1947.

Ursula had a kind of earthy manner of speech, which was not so common in that environment.

She could also be a little frightening because it was this very sharp, keen mind and very strong feelings about what she cared about.

Le Guin: People always say, When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

♪♪ Kroeber: She didnt see herself as a science fiction writer.

She wanted to write imaginatively about what [laughing] interested her.

Phillips: She worked on the literary magazine for a little while, at Radcliffe, but they wouldnt publish any of her stuff.

The important writers of the moment were very macho, very masculine.

It was all-male and she went looking for a space that she could make her own.

♪♪ [ Birds chirping ] [ Guitar strums mellow tune ] [ Child laughing ] I think the first couple years in Portland, it was just — You know how it is when you have little kids.

You really dont do much of anything else, except the kids, but she managed to work all the time.

Downes-Le Guin: My mother was very disciplined about her writing schedule, so she would help us get out of the house in the morning, then write in the morning, then do housework in the afternoon.

Elisabeth: She had her study and she would go in there and shut the door.

Charles: They knew now to bother Mama when she was working.

♪♪ I knew not to bother her when she was workin, too.

[ Laughing ] ♪♪ Le Guin: Charles would read it and maybe my mother would read it.

Then Id send it to the editor and then the editor would reject it.

I dont know how many times I was told I write well, But, we dont know quite what youre doing.

♪♪ I was beginning to feel a little desperate: What am I doing? Am I kidding myself?

♪♪ I did keep methodically sending them out.

One of them got accepted by a pulp science fiction magazine and they paid $30.

Back then, that was really important to us.

♪♪ It definitely encouraged me to look more seriously at fantasy and science fiction as the definition of the kind of thing I was writing, which was never really mainstream realism.

There was always something a little off-key about it.

♪♪ Phillips: The more they sold, the more she wrote.

She was kind of experimenting with interplanetary travel and world-building.

She turned out to be an excellent world-builder.

♪♪ Delany: My editor, Don Wollheim, at Ace Books, was also the first person to publish Ursulas science fiction.

Around 1965 or 66, I had come into the office at Ace Books and Don said, Oh, were publishing a new writer.

I think shes really very good, and he handed me Rocannons World, which was her first novel.

Mitchell: Ursulas early work: Its fertile in detail.

They are written by a young person, with a young persons vivacity and, Ah, lets give this a go!

And lets have some flying cats and big teeth.

♪♪ Newitz: These early novels do have that flavor of kind of just action-adventure in space.

She wasnt really stepping outside that, quite yet, but you can already see her developing a lot of the themes that she becomes known for later on, where she has these truly alien characters, futures, and alternate worlds.

Mitchell: Its really well-realized stuff and its better than a lot of writers bests, but she was on quite a steep, near-vertical trajectory, artistically.

[ Birds squawking ] Le Guin: I had written a couple of short stories that took place on these islands where there were wizards and dragons in 1968, when the publisher Parnassus Books came to me and said, Would you write a young adult novel?

This is a whole archipelago of islands and, now, I draw the map.

And I would name the rivers and the mountains and the cities, but I didnt know anything about them til I went there with my characters.

♪♪ As a boy, our hero was called Sparrowhawk cause the wild hawks would come when he called them, but his true, secret, name is Ged.

Ged sails to Roke Island, the isle of the wise, hidden in the heart of the archipelago.

From all over Earthsea, young men come to Roke to learn the art of magic, the craft of wizardry.

♪♪ This was not, at that time, a well-known concept, the idea of a wizard school.

[ Wind blowing ] Gaiman: I dont think Harry Potter could have existed without Earthsea having existed.

That was the original, the finest, and the best.

[ Wind whipping ] Le Guin: In winter…he was sent… across Roke Island to the farthest north-most cape, where stands the Isolate Tower.

There by himself lived the Master Namer… Kurremkarmerruk sat on a high seat, writing down lists of names that must be learned before the ink faded at midnight [ Wind blowing ] leaving the parchment blank again.

♪♪ He might say, He who would be Seamaster must know the true name of every drop of water in the sea.

♪♪ Magic exists in most societies, in one way or another, and one of the forms it exists in a lot of places is, if you know a things true name, you have power over the thing, or the person.

And, of course, its irresistible because Im a writer; I use words and knowing the names of things — I magic.

I do make up things that didnt exist before, by naming them.

I call it Earthsea, and there it is.

♪♪ So I had this total parallel between wizards and artists to play with.

[ Birds chirping ] Gaiman: I bought Wizard of Earthsea and I was in love.

It felt right, the idea that naming things was magic.

Mitchell: I love how, in Earthsea, the strongest magic is made of the same thing that the books are made of.

If youre a proficiently gifted wizard, you can become a different kind of being. [ Hawk crying ] You can become a hawk or a fish.

But be careful. If you stay there too long, you cant come back.

♪♪ Le Guin: In A Wizard [laughing] of Earthsea, Ged has to find out who he is.

Hes a kid with a tremendous gift and he knows it.

He knows he has a power that most people dont have.

When youre young, youre kinda — Nothing can kill you.

Youre gonna get away with it, you know.

[laughing] Until he gets nearly killed by his own folly.

You know, its Geds own worst self… [ Wind blowing ] …that becomes the evil presence in his life.

[ Water gurgling ] Le Guin: Well, a lotta kids go through something like that and then they have to kind of struggle on and figure out, Okay. Actually, Im not quite who I thought I was.

Seems like a real simple question, but, most of us spend our lives working at it cause, every time you think youve found your way, the way changes.

♪♪ I grew up in Berkeley, California.

My father was the head of the Anthropology Department at UC Berkeley.

♪♪ Clifford: Alfred Kroeber was the founder of academic anthropology in the early years of the University of California.

Ursula K. Le Guin, and she always keeps the K, for Kroeber, was a precocious faculty brat.

Le Guin: There were a lot of anthropologists around.

It was, you know, just shop talk and Im listening in.

It was such a mixture of exciting minds and backgrounds, so Im sure that did something to my head, something good.

♪♪ Phillips: Ursula was very much the youngest, the only girl, always trying to get a word in edgewise in this family.

She really learned to debate and to argue and to hold her own in a way that was probably unusual for girls of her generation.

♪♪ Le Guin: As soon as school and college were out, we packed up and drove the very long 60 miles up to the Napa Valley.

Its 40 acres with an old ranch house on it.

You can feel like youre in the absolute wilderness.

♪♪ My father would tell us Indian stories, translating in his head, sometimes, from the language that hed learned them in.

That was what my father spent years of his life doing, was going around California, on foot, by horse, talking to survivors, to survivors of almost destroyed peoples, trying to save what was left of their culture from the white tide, just taking down what they would and could tell him, just writing it down.

Biestman: It probably was the darkest chapter for all of Indian country and I think anthropologists were on the forefront of what they saw was saving Natives.

Clifford: It was plausible to think, We had better record these cultures and these languages because, in a generation, they wouldnt be there.

♪♪ Kroeber will always be identified with the best-known survivor of the decimated populations of Native California, a man who came to be known as Ishi.

Kroeber: Clifford: In 1911, the last of his kin died and Ishi walked south, down toward Oroville, and the anthropologists in San Francisco heard about this wild man, who they thought must be, perhaps the last really authentic, uncorrupted, unchanged, California Indian.

[ Melancholy tune plays ] Le Guin: Ishis people were among those people who — You dont tell a stranger your name.

My father said, What would you like us to call you?

Clifford: Ishi and Kroeber had a complex friendship.

They liked each other and, in some ways, they needed each other.

But it was a friendship that was crosscut by relations of power and authority.

[ Water flowing ] Ishi died in 1916 of tuberculosis and it was very traumatic for Kroeber.

Theres, I think, no question about that.

Le Guin: I had not heard the name of Ishi when I was a child.

That was a long-ago chapter in my fathers life, til, all of a sudden, they started saying, Hey, Kroeber, you oughta write about — You know, youre one of the last people who knew Ishi, and you knew him well. You ought to write it.

My mother began to work on the story of Ishi and to live through, in her imagination, how Ishi not only survived in a terrible solitude for a while, but also then came alone into a strange world.

Biestman: The story of California Indians had really not been told in a way that at least partially framed the humanity of that story.

[ Water flowing ] Le Guin: My mothers book opened many peoples eyes, including my own, to the appalling history of the white conquest of California.

[scoffing] Some people are quick to see injustice and cruelty, but I was slow to see it.

I had to put the pieces together myself and it took a long time.

Its kinda hard to admit that your people did something awful.

[crying] When I absorb something like that, [sigh] what I do with it, the way I handle it is probably to put it into a novel.

[ Suspenseful music plays ] [ Explosions ] There were a lot of violent struggles about power and domination going on in the world and so, also in my novels, but, I was more interested in exploring alternatives to violence and exploitation and this is the basic purpose of the Ekumen, a peaceful consortium of worlds.

The Ekumen was a device that let me send intelligent people all over the universe to find out interesting things.

Mitchell: This pan-galactic association of worlds is one of Ursulas great inventions, one of science fictions great inventions, as well, I think.

Chabon: The Ekumen provides this huge laboratory in which the writer herself is the scientist whos conducting a kind of experiment, a thought experiment, on human beings and humanity and there are other ways of interacting with each other.

So, like, What if we just change this one little thing and that little thing?

What would happen? What would it be like?

♪♪ Le Guin: I wrote a book, back in the 60s, called Left Hand of Darkness.

What I was first asking myself, you know, Well, okay, what [laughing] is the difference between men and women?

And the means I used to talk about it was to invent a race of people who are androgynous, fully androgynous.

You only become sexually active once a month and you may become active as a man or as a woman.

Brown: And so, in the course of someones lifetime, they can father a child; they can mother a child.

They can have lovers of all different types.

♪♪ [ Wind whistling ] Le Guin: In The Left Hand of Darkness, we meet Genly, the first envoy from the Ekumen to the planet of Winter.

♪♪ -[Crowd whispering] -As he tries to navigate this icebound world of genderless people, Genly becomes entangled in a political web.

[ Whispering continues ] Hes forced to flee across a glacier, along with Estraven, a native of Winter who has become his ally.

♪♪ Mitchell: As they cover the miles over the ice, they also close the miles between themselves, as individuals, as different subspecies of ♪♪ Le Guin: After all he is no more an oddity, a sexual freak, than I am; up here on the Ice, each of us is singular, isolated, I as cut off from those like me, from my society and its rules, as he from his.

Mitchell: Its not just a geographical journey.

Its a journey into human cooperation, into a human relationship.

[ Wind whistling ] Gaiman: When Left Hand of Darkness came out, it was perceived, rightly, as having changed things, as being something that was unlike anything else that had been published.

♪♪ Miville: Nowadays, there is a lot more interest in kind of genderqueering and genderfluidity.

I wonder if it might be difficult for a young reader now to realize quite how extraordinary and powerful that was when she did it.

Goss: Readers and critics have thought about Left Hand of Darkness as a feminist novel and I absolutely think it was, for its time, but, there were other writers, feminist science fiction writers, and critics, as well, who were saying, You didnt quite go far enough.

Atwood: She got in trouble with Left Hand of Darkness because, when you werent changing into some other gender, you were he.

Gaiman: It started getting criticism: Why are you forcing us to think of a masculine default all the way?

Couldnt you have done it a different way?

Do I think that The Left Hand of Darkness that Ursula would write now would be The Left Hand of Darkness that I read in 1971?

She has changed and the world has changed.

[ Birds chirping ] Le Guin: At first, I felt a little bit defensive, but, as I thought about it, I began to see my critics were right.

♪♪ I was coming up against how I write about gender equality.

♪♪ My job is not to arrive at a final answer and just deliver it.

♪♪ I see my job as holding doors open or opening windows, but, [scoffing] who comes in and out the doors?

♪♪ Man: There you go. -Student: Thank you!

Im a germaphobe. [ Laughter ] Mitchell: Ursula Le Guin, she doesnt set herself up as a giver of answers, but, she is one of the very finest explorers of questions.

Man: Lets get ready. Were gonna start right away, okay?

Gaiman: Theres a story by Ursula called The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, which begins as a thought experiment.

[ Laughter ] She tells you that she is going to describe an imaginary place, an imaginary city, and also tells you that shes going to work with you and your imagination to make it the most wonderful city you have ever imagined or experienced.

[ Laughter and chatting ] You are creating this with her and you experience, for several pages, this wonderful city of noble people, the city of cities, Omelas.

And then she says, And theres one more thing.

Somewhere in the city, there is a cellar with a child in it who is being mistreated horribly… [ Floorboards creaking ] …and the joy of all of the people depends on this one child being forced to suffer, degraded, abused, and that everybody in the city knows it.

[ Liquid dripping ] Man: The terms are strict and absolute; there may not even be a kind word spoken to the child.

The instant the child is let out, the city is gone.

Theyre not naive. Theyre not stupid, right?

The city righteous, but it also relies on the suffering, right?

And so its — -Woman: So, basically, their happiness comes from somebody elses misery.

Man: Yes. Look, they dont even need government.

They dont need religious institutions.

You know what I mean? Its like — Man 2: Its a utopia.

Man 1: Its kind of a utopia, right?

Gaiman: And it sets out and it says, This is a thought experiment, and then it goes in and it breaks your heart and it leaves you with a world that is changed.

It leaves you shaken, if you read it right.

Woman 2: It made me feel really upset that this child was being so mistreated.

Man 2: This moral dilemma was compelling to me because it was impossible to pick out like what the course of action would be.

Like theres nothing that would be completely morally right.

Gaiman: This child is seen and some of them go back to their lives and then there are the ones who walk away from Omelas.

Man 3: I would try and help the child.

I really would not care if it would disrupt the whole nature of the city cause its a young child like barely holding on, so I would do anything to help the child.

Man 2: I think I would forget about the child.

I would be one of the people who stays in the town and like puts it in the back of my mind and continues to live happily and peacefully because I have the privilege to do that.

I think the ones who walk away, they can reflect on this kid again and again and know that theyre not a part of it and theyre not like supporting it.

Maybe theyre — They make their own home that everythings perfect.

[ Poignant tune plays ] Le Guin: In Omelas, I was setting up a question about where they might be going, the ones who walk away from injustice, and in my novel The Dispossessed, I wanted to go deeper into that question.

People were asking, What might a perfect society look like, a society that was Thinking about that question brought me to nonviolent anarchism.

♪♪ I think anarchist thinking is one of those profoundly radical ways of thinking that is very fruitful, very generative.

The more I read on anarchism, the more I realized that it was the only major political theater that hadnt had a utopia written about it and I thought, Well, that would be fun!

Then I could kind of begin figuring out, What would a genuine, working anarchist society be like?

[ Suspenseful music plays ] In The Dispossessed, a revolutionary group has abandoned their capitalist, Earth-like world to create a just and free society on their moon, with no gender dominance, no coercive governments, no private ownership.

♪♪ Brown: I think The Dispossessed gives us a chance to experience what it would be like to live outside of capitalism.

It reminds us that the way we live right now is not the only possible way for humans to live.

♪♪ At first, were drawn to this anarchist society, but we can see the flaws that keep the individual from being entirely free.

Like any organizer I ever meet, Im like, You have to read this book.

This is what were trying to figure out.

The crooked timber of humanity is still crooked there.

Le Guin: I knew from the start that it contained its own betrayal.

[ Crowd shouting ] No human society can just find perfection and sit there.

Mitchell: Certainly, The Dispossessed has this political foundation, about inequality, about class, about hierarchy, but if you just want that, then a political tract will do the job.

Id read a lot of science fiction, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but Id never seen the form used that intelligently, that artfully.

[ Piano plays bright tune ] Phillips: In a span of just a few years, we see Ursula release this torrent of major novels back to back, each more original than the last.

Shes pushing the boundaries of what science fiction could do.

♪♪ Le Guin: I won both prizes in science fiction and got a good deal of notice.

I was up on a whole other level, at that point, which was very nice because I was, by then, well in my 30s and kind of like, Its time I was gettin somewhere.

And, as it happened, I was hitting my stride at a very interesting moment for science fiction.

Gaiman: Science fiction has always been a very strange, ragtag area of literature, with tension between what gets called hard science fiction, which is nuts and bolts; and soft science fiction, in which the fiction part is the most important part.

In the 30s and the 40s, it was basically nuts and bolts.

Newitz: There was an older generation of science fiction that was sort

Books by Ursula K Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin, the award-winning and best-selling science fiction writer who explored feminist themes and was best known for her Earthsea books, died January 22, 2018 at the age of 88.

A Wizard of Earthsea (Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Tombs of Atuan (Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Farthest Shore (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Tales From Earthsea (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Earthsea Revisioned (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Rocannons World (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Planet of Exile (Ursula K. Le Guin)

City of Illusions (Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Dispossessed (Ursula K Le Guin)

The Word for World Is Forest (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Four Ways to Forgiveness (Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Adventure of Cobblers Rune (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Solomon Leviathans Nine-Hundred and Thirty-First (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Catwings Return (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings (Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Vol. 2: Outer Space, Inner Lands (Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Lathe of Heaven (Ursula K Le Guin)

Very Far Away From Anywhere Else (Ursula Le Guin)

The Eye of the Heron (Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Beginning Place (Ursula K. Leguin)

Always Coming Home (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Changing Planes (Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Water Is Wide (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Gwilans Harp (Ursula K. Le Guin)

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