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Le Guin, Ursula

fiction science world earthsea

(US, 1929– )

Born in Berkeley, California, the daughter of anthropologists, whose work clearly enriched her own vivid concepts of alien worlds, Le Guin is one of the few women to have made a lasting and honourable place for herself in science fiction. A prolific writer, Le Guin is famous for her books for children as well as for her adult novels. She published the Earthsea quartet for children starting in 1968 with A Wizard of Earthsea. This series concerns itself with the uses and abuses of magical power and contains some highly evocative scenes of the training of young wizards. In her adult work Le Guin raises some of the most interesting philosophical questions in science-fiction writing. In The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), for which she won a Hugo and Nebula award, she portrays a world called Winter, in which Arctic conditions prevail even through the warmest points of the year. It is also a world in which people change sex, complicating gender roles. The two worlds that feature in The Dispossessed (1974) are starkly contrasted models of consumer capitalism and a subsistence-level socialism. In her later work, such as Always Coming Home (1985) Le Guin's interest in linguistic and structural experimentation is evident.

Joanna Russ, Doris Lessing, Robert Silverberg. See FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION, TEEN    LM

Lehmann, Rosamond (Nina) [next] [back] Le Fanu, J(oseph) Sheridan

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