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Ursula K. Le Guin (Ursula Kroeber Le Guin) Biography

(1929– ), (Ursula Kroeber Le Guin), Rocannon's World, City of Illusions

American science fictionwriter, born in Berkeley, California, educated at Radcliffe College and Columbia University. Rocannon's World (1966) and City of Illusions (1967) demonstrated her literary talents which she firmly established with The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), a serene narrative in which a human ethnologist visits a new planet whose humanoid trans-sexual inhabitants challenge his innately gender-bound view of reality. The Lathe of Heaven (1971) presented metaphysical questions about the nature of reality. The highly acclaimed The Earthsea Trilogy, written for children (The Wizard of Earthsea, 1968; The Tombs of Atuan, 1971; and The Farthest Shore, 1972) envisages an oceanic world dominated by magic; it was followed by a sequel, Tehanu (1990). Her most characteristic and best-known work is The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (1974), in which two contrasting worlds reveal a yin-and-yang principle to which Le Guin has been much attracted. Subsequent works include Orsinian Tales (1976) and Malafrena (1979), both set in an almost contemporary Europe; The Beginning Place (1980), concerning adolescent rites of passage; and Always Coming Home (1985), which combines feminist goals with Native American values. Among her collections of short stories are Buffalo Gals, and Other Animal Presences (1987) and A Fisherman of the Inland Sea (1994). Her critical works include The Language of the Night (1979) and Dancing at the Edge of the World (1989). See also Utopia and Anti-Utopia.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Mary Lavin Biography to Light Shining in Buckinghamshire