For the past 50 years, Ursula K. Le Guin’s science fiction and fantasy books offered hope and inspiration to readers and writers everywhere. Join Literary Arts and the Le Guin family as we celebrate the life of Ursula during this public tribute.
The event featured tributes from writers and friends who represent the wide-ranging influence Le Guin has had on international literature for more than 50 years, including Margaret Atwood (by video), Molly Gloss, Walidah Imarisha, Jonathan Lethem, Kelly Link, China Miéville, and Daniel José Older. Andrea Schulz, Le Guin’s editor at Harcourt, and Julie Phillips, Le Guin’s biographer, also spoke at the tribute. The tribute included rare documentary footage of Le Guin, along with photos and images from her life and work, which can be viewed on the Literary Arts website.
As a genre-defying writer, Ursula K. Le Guin authored more than 50 works, including novels, poetry collections, and children’s books that explore issues of race, gender, and environmentalism. Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her many honors include the Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, and PEN-Malamud. In 2014, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished contribution to American Letters.
While her speculative fiction urged readers to explore new worlds and distant futures, Le Guin was an active guardian of her writing community and her home state of Oregon. She was an ardent supporter for writers and independent publishers and actively used her platform to defend free speech. Le Guin was involved with Literary Arts for 31 years, as a participant, trusted advisor, and ardent supporter. Her dedication helped shape Literary Arts’ programs that serve more than 20,000 readers and writers each year.
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her latest book of short stories is Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014). Her MaddAddam trilogy—the Giller and Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009), and MaddAddam (2013)—is currently being adapted for HBO. The Door is her latest volume of poetry (2007). Her most recent non-fiction books are Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011). Her novels include The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; and The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale—now an Emmy-winning Hulu Original Series—and The Penelopiad.
Molly Gloss is a fourth-generation Oregonian who lives in Portland. She is the bestselling author of The Jump-Off Creek, The Dazzle of Day, Wild Life, The Hearts of Horses and Falling From Horses. Her work has earned numerous awards, including an Oregon Book Award, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, the PEN West Fiction Prize, the James Tiptree Jr. Award; and a Whiting Writers Award.
Walidah Imarisha is a writer, organizer, educator, and spoken-word artist. She is the author of the poetry collection Scars/Stars, the nonfiction Angels with Dirty Faces, and co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. She has facilitated writing workshops at schools, community centers, youth detention facilities, and women’s prisons.
Jonathan Lethem is an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. His works include his début novel Gun with Occasional Music, a finalist for the 1994 Nebula Award; Motherless Brooklyn, winner of both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Macallan Gold Dagger for crime fiction; and The Fortress of Solitude, a New York Times best-seller. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and The New York Times. Lethem is also a 2005 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship.
Kelly Link is the author of the collections Get in Trouble, Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. She and Gavin J. Grant have co-edited a number of anthologies, including multiple volumes of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and, for young adults, Monstrous Affections. She is the co-founder of Small Beer Press. Her short stories have been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards.
China Miéville is the author of numerous books, including This Census-Taker, Three Moments of an Explosion, Railsea, Embassytown, Kraken, The City & The City, and Perdido Street Station. His works have won the World Fantasy Award, the Hugo Award, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award (three times). He lives and works in London.
Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of Salsa Nocturna, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, and the Young Adult novel Shadowshaper, a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, which won the International Latino Book Award and was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature, the Andre Norton Award, the Locus, the Mythopoeic Award, and named one of Esquire’s 80 Books Every Person Should Read.