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RIP Ursula K. Le Guin (October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018)

  • 1aaaUrsula K Le Guin

    Time obit

    Acclaimed Feminist Science Fiction Writer Ursula K. Le Guin Dies at 88

    Ursula K. Le Guin(wiki)

    Le Guin was influenced by fantasy writers including J. R. R. Tolkien, by science fiction writers including Philip K. Dick (who was in her high school class, though they did not know each other),by central figures of Western literature such as Leo Tolstoy, Virgil and the Brontë sisters, by feminist writers such as Virginia Woolf, by children’s literature such as Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Book, by Norse mythology, and by books from the Eastern tradition such as the Tao Te Ching.

    Ursula K Le Guin (homepage)

    What inspired you to be a writer?

    Learning to write, at five.

    What were your childhood & youth like — was it happy — were there any significant influences on you?

    My childhood was what is called “happy.” My parents were loving, kind, and intelligent; I had an extra mother in my great-aunt; I had three big brothers to tag around after (and to have fights with the youngest of them); and everybody in the family was glad I was a girl, which made me able to be glad to be a woman, eventually.

    My father was a university professor and we were well off, even during the Depression of the 1930’s. We lived in a beautiful redwood house in Berkeley, and summers on an old ranch in the hills of the Napa Valley. I went to public schools, where I got a good education (although I was shy and malingered a good deal in grade school, and high school was three years of social torture.)

    There were lots of visitors, lots of talk and argument and discussion about everything, lots of books around, lots of music and story-telling. The life of the mind can be a very lively one. I was brought up to think and to question and to enjoy.

    During the second World War my brothers all went into service and the summers in the Valley became lonely ones, just me and my parents in the old house. There was no TV then; we turned on the radio once a day to get the war news. Those summers of solitude and silence, a teenager wandering the hills on my own, no company, “nothing to do,” were very important to me. I think I started making my soul then.

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