Saturday in the Stacks

Ursula K. Le Guin – Writers of Note

Saturday is the perfect time to wander through the stacks (that’s librarian-speak for “bookshelves”) and talk about books and the people who write them. Pull up a comfy chair and settle in, because today I want to chat about a writer that I discovered later in life but that many people grew up loving – Ursula K. Le Guin.

In perfect candor, I have not read a large amount of Le Guin’s fiction work, for which she is best known. I have read the first half of the Earthsea series and have The Left Hand of Darkness on my TBR pile. No, I am far more familiar with Le Guin through her numerous essays on the craft of writing, specifically her two books, The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction and Steering the Craft.

These two books belong on the shelf of anyone who is considering writing so-called ‘genre fiction’, and indeed, on the shelf of anyone who is considering writing as a career at all. Le Guin’s writing on writing is pithy, witty, and above all, kind. Reading her words is like being guided by a family friend through the art of writing, and if you don’t feel enriched by the end of her work, enriched and challenged to do your best, I encourage you to read it again.

“I love living almost as well as I love writing”, said Le Guin according to her website. I strive to live that way as well, to cultivate a life that is exciting and enjoyable enough that writing is an expression of that joy, not an escape from misery. A woman who intelligence and gumption, there’s a lot to learn from Le Guin.

Is there an author who’s writing advice you treasure? That you find yourself returning to whenever you need inspiration or help? Let’s chat about it in the comments!

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Published by rsjeffrey

Robin Jeffrey was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to a psychologist and a librarian, giving her a love of literature and a consuming interest in the inner workings of people’s minds.

One thought on “Saturday in the Stacks

  1. Language of the Night was a huge help to me! Le Guin was the first SFF writer I encountered who seemed to be writing work that was every bit as literary as Alice Munro or John Updike.

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