Ursula Kroeber Le Guin was born on October 21, 1929, the daughter of Alfred Kroeber, an anthropologist and his wife Theodora, a children's author in Berkley, California, the only girl in a family of four children.
Ursula was brought up in academia and she earned an undergraduate degree from Radcliffe and a master's degree from Columbia in 1952 (in Romance Literatures of the Middle Ages and Renaissance) . She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and travelled to France to study. It was there that she met Charles Le Guin, who she later married, and the couple have three children.
She submitted her first story to Amazing Stories Magazine, at eleven years old -- a science fiction story about time travel. Unsurprisingly, it wasn't published, but this blighting of her youthful ambition didn't deter her, and she went on to become one of the most celebrated writers in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre.
Though she has published numerous novels, short stories and poems, Le Guin is probably best known for only a few of these works, specifically the young adult Earthsea series, (which follows the life of the Wizard Ged (Sparrowhawk) while he acquires, perfects and finally loses magic), her science fiction novels The Left Hand of Darkness, which explores the issues of living in an androgynous society, and The Dispossessed in which contrasts two completely opposed societies, one truly communist, and one completely capitalist. Both these latter two novels won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and The Dispossessed was also Awarded the Campbell Memorial Award and entered in The Prometheus Hall of Fame.
Le Guin is one of the most 'decorated' authors in the speculative fiction genre, overall, and has received countless awards, including several Nebulas and Hugos, a Pulitzer Prize nomination, The Kafka Award , the James Tiptree Award, The National Book Award for Children's Literature and the Newberry Silver Medal.
She died at her home in Portland Oregon, January 23, 2018, at the age of 88.
Books marked with * are parts of the Earthsea series
Short Story Collections