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Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018)

Ursula K. Le Guin

Author Ursula K. Le Guin, who challenged the male-dominated fantasy and science fiction fields starting in the 1960s, died January 22, 2018, in Portland, Oregon. She was eighty-eight. Her YA novel A Wizard of Earthsea (which explored the struggle of good versus evil as an internal struggle, not an external one) won the 1969 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction. Le Guin received the National Book Award in 1973 for The Farthest Shore and an honorary National Book Award in 2014 for distinguished contribution to American letters; she also received the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2004 and won the Hugo Award, the Nebula, and many other honors. In addition to more than thirty novels for adults and young adults, she wrote a dozen books of poetry, over one hundred short stories, and seven essay collections. Her books have been translated into over forty languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. The critic Harold Bloom once wrote that Le Guin “raised fantasy into high literature for our time.”

Read Eleanor Cameron’s definitive 1971 Horn Book article: “High Fantasy: A Wizard of Earthsea.”

Read Horn Book reviews of select Le Guin titles.

Read Le Guin’s Letter to the Editor regarding Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, published in the April 1973 Horn Book.

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