Ursula K. Le Guin Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Childhood and Early Life
American author Ursula K. Le Guin was born was born on the 21 October 1929 in Berkeley, California to Alfred L. Kroeber and Theodora Kracaw Kroeber. Her parents were both anthropologists, and she was the youngest of four children born to the couple. Her brothers were Karl, Theodore, and Clifton.
Le Guin’s mother was also a writer and her book Ishi in Two Worlds was published in 1960. Her father was an expert on Native American culture in California. Growing up in a cultured home, Le Guin had access to books such as The Golden Bough and became fascinated by mythology at a young age. She was also interested in science fiction.
After graduating from high school, Ursula K. Le Guin enrolled at Radcliffe College (1951). She then studied at Columbia University (1952) where she did an MA in Romance Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Additionally, she won a Fulbright fellowship which enabled her to study in Paris, France.
Rise to Fame
Ursula K. Le Guin met her husband; also a Fulbright scholar, Charles Le Guin on the ocean liner travelling to France and they got married in Paris. When they returned home, Charles Le Guin took up a position as a history lecturer at Portland State University and Le Guin concentrated on raising their children. She began writing novels and in the early 1960s, tried her hand at genre fiction and chose science fiction.
Ursula K. Le Guin's first novel was the science fiction novel Rocannon’s World (1966). She followed that up with A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) which was the first in a fantasy series for young adults. Other books in the Earthsea series are The Tombs of Atuan (1971), The Farthest Shore (1972), Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea (1990), Tales from Earthsea (2001) and The Other Wind (2001).
Rocannon's World was the first book in the Hainish science fiction series and the other books are: Planet of Exile, 1966, City of Illusions, 1967, The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969, The Dispossessed, 1974, The Word for World Is Forest, 1976, Four Ways to Forgiveness, 1995, The Telling, 2000.
A collection of essays Words Are My Matter: Writings about Life and Book 2000-2016 won a Hugo Award. Throughout her writing career, Le Guin published over 20 novels, a number of poetry collections, dozens of short stories and essays, children’s books and translations.
During her later years, Ursula K. Le Guin published reviews, edited and translated Spanish fantastika and wrote prose and poetry.
Awards and Achievements
Ursula K. Le Guin was the recipient of numerous literary awards including a World Fantasy Award, Hugo awards, Nebula awards, and Locus awards. She was a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist in 1997 for Unlocking the Air and Other Stories.
Ursula K. Le Guin married Charles Le Guin, and they raised three children, Theo, Caroline, and Elisabeth. Ursula K. Le Guin died in Portland, Oregon on the 22 January 2018 at age 88.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Walter Dean Myers
William Makepeace Thackeray