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Ursula K. Le Guin discusses her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry?both her process and her philosophy?with all the wisdom, profundity, and rigor we expect from one of the great writers of the last century.
When the New York Times referred to Ursula K. Le Guin as America’s greatest writer of science fiction, they just might have undersold her legacy. It’s hard to look at her vast body of work?novels and stories across multiple genres, poems, translations, essays, speeches, and criticism?and see anything but one of our greatest writers, period.
In a series of interviews with David Naimon (Between the Covers), Le Guin discusses craft, aesthetics, and philosophy in her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction respectively. The discussions provide ample advice and guidance for writers of every level, but also give Le Guin a chance to to sound off on some of her favorite subjects: the genre wars, the patriarchy, the natural world, and what, in her opinion, makes for great writing. With excerpts from her own books and those that she looked to for inspiration, this volume is a treat for Le Guin’s longtime readers, a perfect introduction for those first approaching her writing, and a tribute to her incredible life and work.
Ursula K. Le Guin published twenty-one novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received the Hugo, Nebula, Endeavor, Locus, Tiptree, Sturgeon, PEN/Malamud, and National Book awards and the Pushcart and Janet Heidinger Kafka prizes, among others. In recent years she received lifetime achievement awards from the World Fantasy Awards, Los Angeles Times, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, and Willamette Writers, as well as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Award, the Library of Congress “Living Legend” award, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Le Guin was the recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children’s May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award and the Margaret Edwards Award. She lived in Portland, Oregon, and her website is www.ursulakleguin.com.
David Naimon is a writer and host of the radio show and podcast Between The Covers in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Tin House, AGNI, Fourth Genre, Boulevard, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. His writing has been reprinted in The Best Small Fictions 2016 and cited in the 2016 Pushcart Prize volume, The Best American Essays 2015, and The Best American Travel Writing 2015. His podcast and writing can be found at: www.davidnaimon.com