In Memoriam

Oregonians Pay Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin

The Portland literary legend, renowned for her science fiction and fantasy, died this week at 88.

By Rebecca Jacobson January 24, 2018

Ursula le guin photo 600dpi mdiqqk

Ursula K. Le Guin, the Portland literary legend behind such groundbreaking works of science fiction and fantasy as The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, died January 22 at age 88. The response was swift and deeply felt, with writers from Margaret Atwood to Neil Gaiman to Stephen King hailing her influence on oft-maligned literary genres, as well as her strong-minded feminist stance.

Le Guin was outspoken well into her later life: at the 2014 National Book Awards, she denounced Amazon and even her own publishers for ignorance and greed, and in 2016 she blasted the Oregonian for giving a mouthpiece to the Malheur militia. Back in 2015, when we profiled the author, she spoke about growing bolder with age: “As you get old as a woman, you do lose certain inhibitions. It’s just like, ‘Oh, what the hell? I’m an old woman, and who listens to old women?’ On the other hand,” she added with a smile, “it gives you a sort of freedom.”

In Oregon, the tributes poured out as well, with writers, musicians, and politicians all paying honor to one of our state's greatest talents.

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