Ursula K. Le GuinUrsula Kroeber Le Guin (; October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) was an American author. She was best known for her works of speculative fiction, including the science fiction works set in the Hainish Universe and the fantasy series of ''Earthsea''. First published in 1959, her literary career spanned nearly sixty years, during which she released more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories, in addition to many volumes of poetry, literary criticism, translations, and children's books. Frequently described as author of science fiction, Le Guin has said she would prefer to be known as an "American novelist", and has been called a "major voice in American Letters".
Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, to author Theodora Kroeber and scholar Alfred Louis Kroeber. Having earned a Master's degree in French, Le Guin began doctoral studies, but abandoned these after her marriage in 1953 to historian Charles Le Guin. She began writing full-time in the 1950s, and achieved major critical and commercial success with ''A Wizard of Earthsea'' (1968) and ''The Left Hand of Darkness'' (1969), described by Harold Bloom as her masterpieces. For the latter volume Le Guin won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel, becoming the first woman to do so. Several more works set in Earthsea or the Hainish Universe followed; other significant pieces include the experimental work ''Always Coming Home'' (1985), works set in the fictional country of Orsinia, and many anthologies.
Le Guin was strongly influenced by cultural anthropology, Taoism, feminism, and the writing of Jungian psychology. Many of her stories used anthropologists or cultural observers as protagonists, and Taoist ideas about balance and equilibrium have been identified in several works. Le Guin often subverted tropes typical to speculative fiction, such as through her use of dark-skinned protagonists in Earthsea, and also used unusual stylistic or structural devices in books such as ''Always Coming Home''. Social and political themes, including gender, sexuality, and coming of age were prominent in her writing, and she explored alternative political structures in many stories, notably in the parable "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" (1973) and the utopian novel ''The Dispossessed'' (1974). Le Guin's writing was enormously influential in the field of speculative fiction, and was the subject of intense critical attention. She received numerous accolades, including seven Hugos, six Nebulas, and twenty-two Locus Awards, and was made a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2003, only the second woman so honored. The U.S. Library of Congress named her a Living Legend in 2000, and in 2014, she won the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Le Guin influenced many other authors, including Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie, David Mitchell, Neil Gaiman, and Iain Banks. On her death in 2018 critic John Clute wrote that Le Guin had "presided over American science fiction for nearly half a century", while author Michael Chabon referred to her as the "greatest American writer of her generation". Provided by Wikipedia