Happy Birthday, Ursula K. Le Guin! Perhaps you know her from her novel The Left Hand of Darkness (winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1969). Or maybe you’ve read The Dispossesed (winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1975). Maybe it’s her short story “The Ones who Walk Away From Omelas” (winner of the 1974 Hugo award) that catches your mind and years later you are still left thinking and wondering. Perhaps A Wizard of Earthsea (winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award 1968) stands among the rest of the Earthsea Cycle Series on your bookshelf.
Perhaps Le Guin is more than a living legend and more than a pioneer for women in speculative fiction. She is a mentor. It seems that what binds her writing so deeply to us, as as female writers of speculative fiction, is that she understands why we write. On her website, she offers the post: “A Few Words to a Young Writer“. She says,
A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls…and their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.
Happy Birthday, Ursula K. Le Guin. May we celebrate your wisdom and truth in our writing, our reading and our lives for many years to come.