Magazine article In These Times

The Essential Ursula K. le Guin

Magazine article In These Times

The Essential Ursula K. le Guin

Article excerpt

A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA (1968)

Ursula K. Le Guin, who died on January 22 at the age of 88, attracted an avid fan base, including the majority of In These Times editors. Her coming-of-age novel A Wizard of Earthsea is set in a magical archipelago notable for its racial diversity. "My color scheme was conscious and deliberate from the start," she wrote. 'T didn't see why everybody in heroic fantasy had to be white."

THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS (1969)

In The Left Hand of Darkness, Le Guin takes us to Gethen, a planet inhabited by ambisexuals, genderless except for two days a month when they transition to male or female, depending on their romantic circumstances. We see the world through the eyes of Genly Ai, a black man from Terra on a diplomatic mission, who navigates political intrigue, his own preconceptions of gender, and falling in love.

THE DISPOSSESSED: An Ambiguous Utopia (1974)

This adventure is set on the anarchocommunist Anarres, the titular ambiguous utopia. …

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