This article by Sue Zalokar originally appeared on Real Change News on 11/5/14.
Sci-fi legend Ursula K. Le Guin discusses the limitless power of imagination
Ursula K. Le Guin started writing when she was 5 and has been publishing her work since the 1960s. Throughout her career, she has delved into some of the most insightful, political, ecological and socially important topics of our time. She has created utopian worlds and societies. She boldly challenged gender barriers by simply doing what she was born to do: Write.
Her first major work of science fiction, “The Left Hand of Darkness,” opened a new era in the field for its radical investigation of gender roles and its moral and literary complexity. At a time when women were barely represented in the writing world, specifically in the genre of science fiction, Le Guin was taking top honors for her novels. Three of Le Guin’s books have been finalists for the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and among the many honors she has earned, her writing has received a National Book Award, five Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards.
In Paris in 1953 she married Charles A. Le Guin, an historian, and since 1958 they have lived in Portland. They have three children and four grandchildren.
After some correspondence, Le Guin invited me to her home to talk. I arrived bearing fresh-picked berries from Sauvie Island. She took me into her study and showed me the view she had of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.
Urusula K. Le Guin: It was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen, and I don’t want to see anything that big again. It was just inconceivable.