Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, the daughter of the well-known anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber and his equally well-known author-wife, Theodora Kroeber. Ursula Kroeber received a B.A from Radcliffe College in 1951 and an M.A. from Columbia University in 1952, before going abroad for a year to study in Paris on a Fulbright Fellowship. There she met and married Charles Le Guin, an historian.
Her first novel, Rocannon's World, was published in 1964, and since that time, through a succession of books for both adult and child readers, Le Guin has clearly established herself as a leading writer of science fiction and fantasy. Her books include the science fiction novels, Planet of Exile (1966), City of Illusions (1967), The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), The Lathe of Heaven (1971), The Dispossessed (1974), Very Far Away from Anywhere Else (1976), and The Water Is Wide (1976); the fantasy novels, A Wizard of Earthsea (1968), The Tombs of Atuan (1972), The Farthest Shore (1972), Malafrena (1979), and The Beginning Place (1980); and four volumes of short fiction, The Wind's Twelve Quarters (1975), Orsinian Tales (1976), The Compass Rose (1982), and Unlocking the Air (1996). Four Ways to Forgiveness, four interconnected novellas, appeared in 1994. By her own admission, Ursula Le Guin's vision is metaphoric rather than theoretical: "At its best when its practitioners take it seriously [science fiction] ... is a new integrative effort, a way of enabling the contemporary, scientific, individualistic consciousness to achieve the collective creative power of myth, to cope with thunder and suffering by aesthetic, integrative means."
The winner of numerous honors, including science fiction's Hugo and Nebula awards, Ursula Le Guin currently makes her home in Portland, Oregon. She has published two volumes of essays, The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction (1979) and Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places (1989). Le Guin's most recent novel, Always Coming Home, was published in 1985.