RE: [mythsoc] Le Guin, spelling & background info
- I have always seen her name consistently spelled Le Guin.
Ursula Le Guin has written a variety of books and stories, the best know
being the Earthsea trilogy (which actually should be called a tetralogy
since she later added a fourth volume). The novels are set in an imaginary
island world where magic shapes history and everyday life, and wizards play
an important role. The stories are about taking responsibility for one's
life and talents, and living in consequence. What I like is that the battle
between good and evil is depicted in a realistic way, with all the
in-between nuances and doubts and dead-ends to be found in real life
situations, and not just as a tale in black and white.
Besides this, my favourites are "Very far away from anywhere else" and "The
Beginning Place", two stories about modern American teenagers trying to
figure out who they are and what they want to do in life. "Very far away..."
is situated in the 'real' world. The narrator has a private fantasy world
where he can be himself and cultivate his dreams, and he eventually shares
it with his girlfriend, an aspiring composer who starts creating music for
this fantasy world.
In "The Beginning Place", a girl discovers an entrance to another world, to
which she returns from time to time. Then a lonely boy stumbles into it too,
and although they dislike each other at first, they are sent to kill a
dragon, and the adventure brings them together. This book, however, is not
at all of the swashbuckling epic type, it's more about the development of
the main characters. Throughout the story, the reader retains the impression
that they have stumbled into this other world only by chance, and in spite
of their love for it, they remain strangers to it and really know very
Ursula Le Guin has also written some excellent science-fiction (although I
like what I read of it rather less than her fantasy, this is purely a matter
of personal taste), essays, and books for children.
For more information, look up this URL:
- When Ursula Le Guin autographed my copy of "The Language of the Night"
(which is a collection of introduction, short, pithy essays and tart
comments on fantasy and science fiction) she signed it Le Guin, as it
appears in print on the title page, and on others of her titles. Grace.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]