Monday, 20 May, 2019

Famed author Ursula K. Le Guin dies

IOC likes Calgary's legacy including Saddledome for 2026 bid city director IOC likes Calgary’s legacy including Saddledome for 2026 bid city director Saskatoon 650 CKOM Canadian Press
Russell Knight | 24 January, 2018, 09:18

Writer Shannon Hale lamented Le Guin's death. The family did not confirm a cause of death, but said Le Guin had been ill for the last several months.

"I tend to avoid fiction about dysfunctional urban middle-class people written in the present tense", she once said.

Over a career that spanned more than five decades, Le Guin authored "seven books of poetry, twenty-two novels, over a hundred short stories (collected in eleven volumes), four collections of essays, twelve books for children, and four volumes of translation", according to her website. But she first found success with the publication in 1969 of "The Left Hand of Darkness", which won a string of prizes and became a great science fiction classic. "That is inspiring to me", Kowal said. Le Guin also influenced other major writers, including Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood, and countless others.

Still, she remains best known for The Left Hand of Darkness, about a planet whose inhabits have no fixed gender identity, and for the six-book fantasy series that began with A Wizard of Earthsea. And in the different societies of The Dispossessed, published in 1974, Le Guin explores the frictions born of vastly different ideologies scraping up against each other.

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Delivering the 1983 commencement address at Mills College in Oakland, California, she described a future where young women attained the same sort of independence achieved by many of her characters. "For a woman, any literary award, honors, notice of any sort has been an uphill climb", she told the LA Review of Books past year. "Not just a science fiction writer; a literary icon". We who followed her as both readers and writers are the lucky ones.

And where power can dehumanize, she argued, we need imagination to fix the resulting wound: "If you cannot or will not imagine the results of your actions, there's no way you can act morally or responsibly", she explained.

She published her first book, "Rocannon's World", in 1966 and her second and most famous, "The Wizard of Earthsea", two years later. "I miss her as a glorious amusing prickly person, & I miss her as the deepest and smartest of the writers, too".

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