Ursula K. Le Guin, Whose Novels Plucked Truth From High Fantasy, Dies At 88 : The Two-Way The author, best known for works such as the Earthsea series and The Left Hand of Darkness, used her fantastic realms to grapple with difficult themes.
Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET. Ursula K. Le Guin, a prolific novelist best known for the Earthsea series and The Left Hand of Darkness, died Monday at the age of 88.
Across more than 20 novels and scores of short stories, Le Guin crafted fantastic worlds to grapple with profoundly difficult questions here on Earth, from class divisions to feminist theory.
Across the decades-long span of her career – from her first short story submission at the age of 11 to her work well into her 80s – Le Guin stood as a towering figure in science fiction and fantasy.
Still, while Le Guin deployed alien planets and impossible societies in her novels, fellow Hugo winner Mary Robinette Kowal told NPR’s Petra Mayer that Le Guin’s work could not be confined to a simple label found atop bookstore shelves.
A child of anthropologists, Le Guin approached her worlds with the investigative eye of one encountering a culture for the first time.
As her characters often grappled with new worlds, Le Guin herself blazed a trail rarely trod by female writers before her.