Ursula K. Le Guin, Acclaimed Fantasy Author, Dies at 88

Ursula K. Le Guin, Acclaimed Fantasy Author, Dies at 88

Le Guin, one of the pioneering writers of science fiction and fantasy, passed away at her home in Portland, Oregon in the U.S. on Wednesday.

The author of more than 20 novels, including "The Left Hand of Darkness" and the Earthsea series, Le Guin is famous for weaving feminist themes into her and fantastical stories of other worlds. One thing that stands out about Le Guin's writing is her commitment to using the genres of science fiction and fantasy to not only reflect on our world, but to help us envision new ways of living.

Ursula Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction and fantasy.

One of the towering figures in science fiction has died, although she never really liked being called a sci-fi writer.

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Le Guin is survived by her husband, fellow Fulbright scholar Charles Le Guin; two daughters; two brothers and four grandchildren.

Stephen King tweeted that she was "not just a science fiction writer; a literary icon. Very often in our art, the art of words", she said. She was talking specifically about what happens to women writers.

She went to Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and received a Masters from Columbia University in NY.

Le Guin, who was born in 1929, meant people who mattered were men, and that women were as near as invisible.

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What Le Guin would hate most was if her legacy were reduced to quotable quotes, no matter how well they'd fit a tattoo or T-shirt. Following a diplomat from a galactic government entreating with a species of genderless aliens who take on the traits of both males and females during mating seasons, The Left Hand of Darkness tackles gender, religion, and politics with both great imagination and deep thought.

Some of Le Guin's trademarks include taking typical fantasy and sci-fi tropes and turning them upside down, meaning her novels usually avoid clear-cut moral victories, can not easily differentiate between good and evil, and protagonists tackle conflict with brains rather than brawn. She wrote a further five Earthsea books, the last of which came out in 2001. These are exactly the compartments and clichés she spent a lifetime - 88 years - dismantling. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this, letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant and tell us what to publish and what to write.

Ursula K. Le Guin. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience and writers threatened by corporate fatwah.

Le Guin continued writing well after she told her family she did not think she had the stamina to write even blog entries, her son said. She made this fiery speech at the National Book Awards.

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"The profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art". But I, too, believe in using the term sparingly and carefully, and the criteria she gave me for its use, in my opinion, fit her completely.

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