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The inaugural volume of Library of America’s Ursula K. Le Guin edition gathers her complete Orsinian writings, enchanting, richly imagined historical fiction collected here for the first time. Written before Le Guin turned to science fiction, the novel Malafrena is a tale of love and duty set in the central european country of Orsinia in the early nineteenth century, when it is ruled by the Austrian empire. The stories originally published in Orsinian Tales (1976) offer brilliantly rendered episodes of personal drama set against a history that spans Orsinia’s emergence as an independent kingdom in the twelfth century to its absorption by the eastern Bloc after World War II. The volume is rounded out by two additional stories that bring the history of Orsinia up to 1989, the poem “Folksong from the Montayna Province,” Le Guin’s first published work, and two never before published songs in the Orisinian language.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the most celebrated writers of her generation, recipient of multiple Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. In 2014, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Brian Attebery, editor, is professor of English at Idaho State University and the editor of Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. He edited The Norton Book of Science Fiction (1997) with Ursula K. Le Guin and Karen Joy Fowler and is the author of Stories About Stories: Fantasy and the Remaking of Myth (2014) and Decoding Gender in Science Fiction (2002), among other books.