PORTLAND OR – The cutting-edge, transgender writings of acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin, whose novels and short stories have increased appreciation for science fiction and fantasy, are celebrated with a new stamp Forever – the 33rd of the Postal Service Literary Arts series. The stamp was unveiled today during a ceremony at the Portland Art Museum.
As an author, Le Guin was interested in more than science fiction and his premonitory writings are now considered more than fantasy.
“Ursula once said she wanted to see science fiction break through the old convention walls and strike right into the next wall – and start breaking it, too,” said Joseph Corbett, CFO and Executive Vice President from the US Postal Service. , who was the inaugural official of the stamp ceremony. “She felt that the ideas represented in her fiction could help people become more aware of other ways of doing things, of other ways of being and of helping people wake up.”
With Corbett for the ceremony were India Downes-Le Guin, granddaughter of Ursula K. Le Guin; Linda Long, University of Oregon Libraries; Amy Wang, columnist, The Oregonian; and Martha Ullman West, art writer.
The stamp features a portrait of Le Guin based on a 2006 photograph with a background that references the winter world and the characters she created in “The Left Hand of Darkness”. Designed by Donato Gionacola, with Antonio Alcalá as artistic director, Le Guin’s name appears at the bottom of the stamp. The words “USA” and “TROIS OUNCE” are printed vertically on the left side.
The value of these Forever stamps will always equal the current price of 3 ounces of First Class Mail. The news of the Ursula K. Le Guin stamp is shared with the hashtag#UrsulaKLeGuinStamp.
Born in Berkeley, California, in 1929, Ursula Kroeber Le Guin developed an interest in Native American cultures at a very young age. It was a fascination that would influence his later work. After graduating from Radcliffe College in 1951 and an MA from Columbia University in 1952, she began to explore the potential of science fiction and fantasy in the early 1960s, publishing her first novel, ” Rocannon’s World ”in 1966. The novel mixes elements of fantasy and science fiction – and inspired two sequels – while establishing a setting for many subsequent novels and stories.
Le Guin’s writings were clearly ahead of their time. In 1969, she published “The Left Hand of Darkness”, a novel about an earthly diplomat named Genly Ai, who travels to a winter planet where two nations are on the brink of war – and where the inhabitants have no fixed sex most of the time. The book, which won the Hugo and Nebula Awards in Science Fiction and Fantasy, broke new ground and was often hailed as the novel that continuously raised literary expectations for science fiction.
In addition to the novels and fiction that have won him dozens of literary awards and legions of avid readers, Le Guin has also published volumes of poetry, written lifelike stories about life in a small town in Oregon, and started a blog at the age of 81 that became the 2017 Essay Collection, “No Time to Waste: Think About What Matters”. She has also published a translation of the classical Chinese philosophical and religious text, Tao Te Ching, the result of 40 years of Taoist reading and reflection.
Le Guin is credited with championing the literary and artistic merit of science fiction and fantasy, as well as encouraging more women to write and read fiction in both genres. At the same time, she has inspired many readers and writers of color by placing non-white characters at the center of her work and by approaching issues of racial injustice and colonialism in a nuanced way. Through long-standing interests in mythology, anthropology, feminism and Taoism, as well as through her far-reaching translations, essays, poetry and non-fiction, Le Guin has demonstrated that no writer is needed to be limited by gender boundaries.
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