In The Village Voice I wrote about another aspect of Ursula, not the homebody but the writer and thinker ahead of her time. Before Ursula K. Le Guin, who died last week at age 88, goes to dwell among the stars — maybe near the constellation that bears her name — it’s worth remembering how […]

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“How should we remember Ursula Kroeber Le Guin? Together,” Nisi Shawl writes. Like many others of Ursula’s friends and readers after her death, I wanted to honor her memory. I don’t think I’d ever worked and written as hard as I did that week, but I wanted to do something, and it seemed like the […]

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Ursula Le Guin died unexpectedly on Monday, January 22, in the home in Portland, Oregon, where she lived with her husband Charles. After she asked me to be her biographer, several years ago, she and I had many long talks on the phone, met once or twice a year, and corresponded. We talked about my […]

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Sometime between October 9 and 14, 1797—let’s call it the second Monday in October—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as he was walking on the coast in southwest England, became ill and stopped to rest at a remote farm. An image had been tugging at his attention, from a seventeenth-century traveler’s tale about China. In this unfamiliar house, […]

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The latest books in the Library of America’s Ursula K. Le Guin series are out now. “The Hainish Novels & Stories,” vols 1 and 2, collects much of Le Guin’s science fiction, including “The Left Hand of Darkness,” “The Dispossessed,” “The Telling,” and some of her best short stories in one handsome boxed set. The […]

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A truck, a Paris street, an absent-minded philosopher. On February 25, 1980, these disparate objects collided and fused into biographical fact: the semiotician Roland Barthes stepped off a curb near his Left Bank office and was hit by a laundry van. He died a month later in a Paris hospital. For the resourceful French novelist […]

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