Ursula Kroeber Le Guin was an American novelist, working mainly in the genres of fantasy and science fiction. She is a renowned author whose body of work includes 23 novels, 12 volumes of short stories, 11 volumes of poetry, 13 children’s books, five essay collections, and four works of translation.
Among many honors, Ursula Le Guin has earned six Nebula Awards, seven Hugo Awards, and SFWA’s Grand Master, as well as the PEN/Malamud and many other awards. In 2014 she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Le Guin’s major titles have been translated into 42 languages and have remained in print, often for over half a century. She is the author of the classics The Left Hand of Darkness, Always Coming Home, and The Dispossessed. Her fantasy novel A Wizard of Earthsea, the first in a related group of six books and one short story, has sold millions of copies worldwide.
Le Guin's poetry attracted increasing interest from critics and readers late in her life; her last collection of poems, So Far and So Good, was published shortly after her death.
In 2016, The New York Times described her as "America's greatest living science fiction writer".
Ursula Kroeber was born in 1929 and grew up in Berkeley, California. Her parents were anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and writer Theodora Kroeber, author of Ishi. She attended Radcliffe College and did graduate work at Columbia University. She married historian Charles A. Le Guin, in Paris in 1953; they lived in Portland, Oregon, beginning in 1958, and had three children and four grandchildren.
Le Guin died peacefully in her home in January 2018.
“Her words are always with us. Some of them are written on my soul. I miss her as a glorious funny prickly person, & I miss her as the deepest and smartest of the writers, too,” wrote author Neil Gaiman.