Ursula Le Guin – Vale

Suzie Eisfelder

I’ve written a lot about Ursula Le Guin over the years. What reason could there be to write again? To celebrate her writing in the wake of her death. Considering she died this week I think it only appropriate to start with a photo of the books of hers we happen to have on the shelf.

Just some books we happened to have on the shelf

I’m going to give you a link and let you consider going into the black hole that is my blog. I ran a search for Ursula Le Guin and came up with three pages of results. Some of them are just the briefest of mentions while others have a little more information. I suggest this illustrates how much she’s influenced my reading over the decade.

We’ve only got the first book of A Wizard of Earthsea on hand, I remember reading the entire series so I must have borrowed from the library. There were very few readers in my area when I first read this so borrowing from other people was so unlikely.

I recently studied The Left Hand of Darkness for uni. I find it fascinating that a book written in 1969 can be so relevant for a writing course in 2017. There’s such a degree of difference between those years but this book transcends all. That’s essentially how good Le Guin’s writing was. She put together a novel that can be studied for transgender studies, for writing studies and then again for relationship studies. I’m sure other teachers will find it useful in their courses.

Trying to choose my favourite, the one that will stay with me for always is such a challenge. I think it has to be Rocannon’s World but it’s really hard to tell as they’re all just really well written. I don’t know why, possibly because it has a man who goes native enough to help the natives against an invading force. Maybe because the protagonist is an anthropologist. I don’t know. If I reread it I would probably come up with a dozen reasons.

I couldn’t tell you how much I love Le Guin without giving you affiliate links to a couple of her books. Worlds of Exile and Illusion: Rocannon’s World, Planet of Exile, City of Illusions is a compilation of three of her books set in the same world. And here’s The Left Hand of Darkness.

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