American novelist Ursula Le Guin dies at 88
The immensely popular author Ursula K. Le Guin, died on Monday at her home in Portland at the age of 88. Ursula was a tough-minded feminist who brought science fiction and fantasy to life. Her son, Theo Downes-Le Guin confirmed the death. The reason is not stated, however, she has been sick for several weeks.
Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her most popular book includes The Left Hand of Darkness - a plot set on a planet where the customary gender distinctions don't really apply. This book has been in print for almost 50 years. Critics have described her as, “a superbly imaginative creator and major stylist” who “has raised fantasy into high literature for our time.” In addition to more than 20 novels, she was the author of a dozen books of poetry, more than 100 short stories (collected in multiple volumes), seven collections of essays, 13 books for children and five volumes of translation, including the Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu and selected poems by the Chilean Nobel Prize winner Gabriela Mistral. She also wrote a guide for writers. Le Guin’s fictions range from young-adult adventures to philosophical fables. Le Guin graduated from Radcliffe College in 1951, earned a master’s degree in romance literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance from Columbia University in 1952, and won a Fulbright fellowship to study in Paris. There she met and married another Fulbright scholar, Charles Le Guin, who survives her.
Le Guin was all of 11 when she submitted her first story to the magazine Astounding Science Fiction. Although it was rejected, she continued writing but would go unpublished for another ten years. Le Guin was influenced by fantasy writers including JRR Tolkein, Philip K Dick (who was in her high school class, though they did not know each other).
Le Guin strongly urged publishers and writers not to put too much emphasis on profits and focus only on the writing.