Talk:Ursula K. Le Guin

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Ursula K. Le Guin is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on October 21, 2019.
Article milestones
March 7, 2019Good article nomineeListed
September 19, 2019Featured article candidatePromoted
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on March 30, 2019.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that Ursula K. Le Guin once rejected an offer from Hayao Miyazaki to adapt her Earthsea series for the screen, but changed her mind after watching Miyazaki's film My Neighbor Totoro?
Current status: Featured article

Possible date inconsistency in early writing careerEdit

"From 1951 to 1961 she wrote five novels, which publishers rejected, because they seemed inaccessible.[11] She also wrote poetry during this time, including Wild Angels (1975)."

Is 1975 a publication date? If so, that should be specified. Otherwise, it doesn't belong to the 1951-1961 period. The Crab Who Played With The Sea (talk) 00:56, 24 June 2018 (UTC)


Le Guin's work has been adapted a very large number of times. Not all of these adaptations are notable, and not all of them should be mentioned here; if they were, this article would be overwhelmed very quickly. For an adaption to be included here, it needs, at the very least, to be verifiable by independent, secondary sources. Vanamonde (Talk) 18:15, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

And who is the arbiter of what constitutes a "notable" adaptation? I am going to add another citation that is "verifiable, independent, and secondary" for the piece. In the meantime, please take a moment to read Le Guin's personal response to the sonata. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fullsterkur (talkcontribs) 18:41, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia's policies are the arbiter. I have read the personal response: it doesn't count for very much. A friend might adapt one of her works into a stage production, for instance, which she might have seen and enjoyed but nobody else paid any attention to. That's why you need an independent secondary source. Please provide such, and stop edit-warring. Vanamonde (Talk) 19:08, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

This composer was not a personal friend of Le Guin's, and his work has been performed internationally (including at Carnegie Hall). The sonata in question was premiered (as indicated in the additional reference that I provided) by an international chamber music collective. In short, this is not some amateur theatrical adaptation at a local college. So once again, who gets to determine whether or not this adaptation is "notable"? I maintain that it is. However, if your issue is with the reference to Le Guin's response to the piece, then please feel free to selectively edit that part out. I can't imagine why you would deem that necessary, but I won't challenge it. Obviously, it is not possible to back that up with a secondary reference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fullsterkur (talkcontribs) 19:22, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Fullsterkur, it really seems like you're not reading what I'm saying here. If the sonata is as prominent as you say, it should be easy to find independent sources covering it. Please find such sources. Vanamonde (Talk) 19:34, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

I did not say that the piece was prominent. "Prominent" and "notable" are not interchangeable. There is not a large audience for contemporary classical composition, but that does not mean that such works are not notable. The fact that the sonata in question is being performed by an internationally acclaimed chamber group makes it worthy of note. Are you now insisting on popularity as the criteria for the inclusion of an adaptation? Please be precise. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fullsterkur (talkcontribs) 19:55, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Please don't split hairs. I have explained already that we cannot cover every adaptation of Le Guin. We can cover those whose significance (or notability, prominence, whatever; in this circumstance, the distinction is immaterial) is attested to by sources independent of its creator. Please find such a source, as I have now asked you to do at least four times, or I'm going to have to remove this again. Please also sign your posts on talk pages. Vanamonde (Talk) 20:17, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

I don't think that I am splitting hairs. I included an independent secondary source, as requested, so it is unclear what would satisfy your criteria. Would additional secondary sources attesting to the bona fides of this composer be helpful? The sonata was officially commissioned, and that can also be referenced independently, if that helps. Also, please clarify the "we" that you are referring to. - Fullsterkur — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fullsterkur (talkcontribs) 20:52, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

"We" refers to Wikipedia in general. The source you included was independent, but not secondary; it's a program announcement. Again, please also sign your posts on talk pages, by typing ~~~~ at the end of your post. Vanamonde (Talk) 20:59, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

I'm not trying to be deliberately obtuse. I read you as saying that the notability of the sonata would have to be attested to by some internationally recognized classical music expert. Is that correct? Plant's notability as a composer has been attested to, but it seems odd to have to provide citations to this effect. Given what I have already said about the obscurity of contemporary classical music, it seems impossible to satisfy your criteria. (Fullsterkur (talk) 21:09, 2 February 2019 (UTC))

Okay, let me be a little more explicit. We don't need to have a source which says "this piece of music was highly significant", or the equivalent; that is indeed difficult to find. We do need a reliable, independent, secondary source which says something about that piece of music, because in general, coverage in reliable, independent, secondary sources is how we judge the significance of anything on Wikipedia. Vanamonde (Talk) 21:23, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Thank you for the clarification. I'll see what I can find, although I truly believe that in the insular universe of contemporary classical composition, the fact that the sonata was commissioned and then premiered by an acclaimed ensemble in a provincial capital, is what makes it notable. (Fullsterkur (talk) 21:44, 2 February 2019 (UTC))

So I have made a couple of inquiries in an effort to find official reviews from when the sonata was premiered in 2017. I'm not especially hopeful that I will find anything, however, for the reasons that I mentioned earlier. In the meantime, I made some edits to the post, and if you feel that they do not meet your requirements, then I won't reverse any changes/deletions that you choose to make. (Fullsterkur (talk) 18:41, 3 February 2019 (UTC))

I have undone that edit for two reasons: 1) you marked it as "minor", which was incorrect, and 2) the language reeked with promotion language.--Jorm (talk) 18:56, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I'm afraid those sources weren't good enough either. If you do find more stuff, feel free to ping me, and I'll take a look at it. I will be returning to this article in a few days, at which point I'll try to find sources myself. Vanamonde (Talk) 19:17, 3 February 2019 (UTC)

They were *minor* changes to my previous post. I will keep looking for reviews, although the references I added established the credentials of the individuals involved, and were thus legitimate. Seriously folks, I've looked over the other adaptations that were accepted on the page and the sonata is at least as worthy of inclusion. Just because a theatrical adaption receives a (very mediocre) review does not make it notable, and Plant is as notable a composer as Stephen Andrew Taylor. The latter's adaptation does *not* include a review of the piece, so please explain why it has not been removed. (Fullsterkur (talk) 19:38, 3 February 2019 (UTC))

The opera doesn't have a review here, it's true; but the article Paradises Lost has a review of the opera from the Poetry Foundation, a reliable, independent source, as well as from Oregon Live, also decent, if somewhat local. I'll add those sources by and by. Vanamonde (Talk) 20:17, 3 February 2019 (UTC)

GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:Ursula K. Le Guin/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: I'll take this on. Chiswick Chap (talk · contribs) 19:42, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

@Chiswick Chap: I think I've got all your comments; would you have a look? Vanamonde (Talk) 05:14, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
I think it's splendid. I do have a late suggestion (sorry) - I like the mention of Heinlein and it occurred to me that the Foreword to Birthday of the World and Other Stories contained her own view of what her fiction was: "In .. A Fisherman of the Inland Sea I invented some social rules for the people of the world called O ... In this sense, you could say that 'Unchosen Love' and 'Mountain Ways' are comedies of manners, odd as that may sound to those who think science fiction is written ray-gun in hand. The society of O is different than ours here now, but not very much more different than that of Jane Austen's England; perhaps less different than that of The Tale of Genji." I think the 'ray-gun in hand' is exactly what her science fiction isn't. And by the way, the next paragraph mentions "Atomic Holocaust and the End of the World as We Know It and mutants in the glowing ruins of Peoria.", so the cold war is a mentionable influence also. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:44, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
@Chiswick Chap: I've added a quote which I think gets at that issue. About the second; I'm a bit hesitant to mention the cold war more generally, but that conflict is definitely touched on in the themes section where I mention the Vietnam War and its impact on The Word for World is Forest. Vanamonde (Talk) 17:08, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
I think it a fine quote, that gets at yet another issue. I suppose the ray-gun thing is at least obliquely covered but I'd have thought a direct mention would do the job better. However, we have covered "the main points" as required. Chiswick Chap (talk) 17:40, 7 March 2019 (UTC)


It's a pleasure to see such a well-constructed article.

Cheers, Chiswick Chap. Vanamonde (Talk) 20:44, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • "best novel". Maybe say "science fiction novel"?
    Well, the awards are "[] award for best novel". I've expanded the link to make that clear.
  • "Philosophical Taoism had a large role in Le Guin's world view," - it did, so why is it not mentioned in the life section? Would we not expect to be told how she came across it, and at what age, and what effect it had on her personal life (as opposed to writing)?
    That's an excellent point; unfortunately, I have no good answer. The influence of Taoism on Le Guin is discussed very widely, but there's no detail beyond her writing, except 1) she acknowledged said influence, 2) it impacted her writing, and 3) she translated the Tao Te Ching. So, depending on your response, I could add a sentence to "Life"; but there isn't much material there.
    Well, translating the Tao Te Ching would be well worth mentioning in her life, along the lines that she was sufficiently committed to Taoism that ...
    Okay, added.
    Excellent. The jackrabbit quote works well, as does the whole paragraph actually.
  • In the Themes section you might like to consider linking Biology in fiction which discusses her. You could mention the 'biological parable' concept discussed there, or just add a 'further' link. I declare an interest!
    So linked.
  • Equilibrium, an important theme in its own right, and a key component of Taoism, is linked to Taoism only in the lead section (?!) and then only mentioned in 'Critical attention'. Shomeshing wrong here, as Sean Connery would have said. It needs some development and a couple of examples from her books (both Earthsea and outside that, I'd suggest).
    Good point, and something I should have caught. I'll work on this, but I have to go back to the sources and I'm busy for the next many hours.
    Added some material about Earthsea and equilibrium. Outside that series, scholars tend to focus on slightly different concepts, such as the reconciliation of opposites/light and dark, which I've mentioned in connection with TLHoD.
    Thanks, that works well for me.

Minor detailsEdit

  • " more than twenty novels and more than a hundred short stories" - perhaps vary this with "over a hundred...".
  • "and she also explored" - no need for the "also".
  • Hugo and Nebula are overlinked in lead.
    I don't think they are; the first links are to the specific awards (best novel), the second to the sets (
  • "Le Guin met historian Charles Le Guin." This comes across as a tangle. We could avoid it just by saying "She..", or logically by saying "Kroeber". When she met him she certainly didn't have his surname, but worse, it just sounds weird.
    I've gone with "Ursula"; "she" would sound strange at the beginning of a subsection to me.
  • What's a commencement address?
    That would be a Commencement speech; I'd forgotten it was Americanese. I've linked it.
  • " speeches by Margaret Atwood, Molly Gloss, and Walidah Imarisha" - perhaps "by the writers ...".
  • "A Wizard of Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness were described by critic Harold Bloom as Le Guin's masterpieces.[4] The novel ..." Well I guess you mean TLHoD but they're both novels...
    Yep, fixed.
  • " Her 1974 novel The Dispossessed, also won " - something wrong with the punctuation. Suggest "...The Dispossessed again won"
  • " making her the first person to win both for the same two books." Do you mean "for the same book"? Couldn't parse the sentence.
    It's that she was the first to win the Hugo+Nebula combination for two books. I've tweaked it, let me know if something further is required.
  • George Slusser needs a gloss ("scholar and critic"...).
  • I think slavery should be linked somewhere.
  • Please link speculative fiction.
  • "Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley". A bit clunky. "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" might be better, and it probably needs a date, too.
  • "Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie and David Mitchell," doesn't quite work. Mitchell was shortlisted, indeed, but probably best just to add him to the "as well as" list, though I'm not sure that phrase will work if there's only one name before it.
    Yes. Adjusted.
  • Kenneth Morris is a dab page.
  • Do we have to have that portal bar before the citations? Maybe it could go atop External links. It feels like the final fence before the river Styx to me.
    Honestly I kind of like it; both as a visual separator between prose and all our additional stuff, and because I prefer to separate within-Wikipedia links from external stuff.
  • I've added a couple authorlinks; I think a bit more would be useful, not least in Sources as it makes looking people up a whole lot easier.
    A number of the scholars in this article don't have their own articles. I'll look into what else I can link.

That's about it from me as I'm happy with prose, structure, images, and sources. As always I'd love a few more images but am well aware of the difficulty of finding such.

Addition to the "American Anarchist" CategoryEdit

Hello Wikipedians, I'm a new user and I made an edit to this page on May 20 that has since been removed. I added Le Guin to the category of American anarchists. User Vanamonde93 reversed this decision and said, "Le Guin has neither identified explicitly as an anarchist, nor been described as one. This category isn't appropriate." I find this puzzling because Le Guin is regularly critically analyzed as an anarchist writer. On Le Guin's personal website, she republished a critical assessment of her work through postmodern anarchism, and commented that the article "let [her] see aspects of my own older works, especially Left Hand of Darkness, in a new light." Upon Le Guin's death, Crimethinc, a well-known anarchist publication, published an article by Margaret Killjoy called "We Will Remember Freedom: Why It Matters that Ursula K. Le Guin Was an Anarchist" in which Killjoy writes, "To be clear, Ursula Le Guin didn’t, as I understand it, call herself an anarchist. I asked her about this. She told me that she didn’t call herself an anarchist because she didn’t feel that she deserved to—she didn’t do enough. I asked her if it was OK for us to call her one. She said she’d be honored." This exchange is documented in the video recording of their conversation. I think it's safe to say that if Ursula K. Le Guin didn't self-identify as an anarchist, she has been described as one and was willing to accept that label. I'd like her to be added to the list of American anarchists. Preparemyguillotine (talk) 19:37, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

@Preparemyguillotine: Thanks for bringing this to the talk page. You make a decent argument. My concern, though, is that in the more mainstream sources I've read (scholarly reviews of her work) she is frequently described as someone who explores anarchism, and was influenced by anarchism; but I don't see her described as an anarchist herself. Anarchism is a frequently misunderstood philosophy (or set of philosophies); anarchist groups tend to be on the fringe of US political discourse, and as a result, have a vested interest in "claiming" a well-known writer as one of their own. For a category such as this, I'd really like to see more independent, highly reliable sources (preferably scholarly sources) using this description. Vanamonde (Talk) 21:04, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
@Vanamonde93: I've found numerous scholarly works that venture further than to say she was influenced by anarchism, and actually claim that she was an anarchist writing intentionally anarchist fiction. I'll link some articles for you to explore:

"True to both her novelistic craft and her anarchist political convictions, Le Guin succeeds in embodying in The Dispossessed an extraordinarily imaginative and sophisticated utopian vision..." — Laurence Davis: “Morris, Wilde, and Le Guin on Art, Work, and Utopia” in Utopian Studies, vol. 20, no. 2, 2009, pp. 213–248. "The themes of postmodern anarchism are clearly present in her work." — Lewis Call: "Postmodern Anarchism in the Novels of Ursula K. Le Guin" in SubStance, vol. 36, no. 2, 2007, pp. 87–105. "Le Guin has produced a narrative structure, a configuration of voices, consistent with her politics, both feminist and anarchist, befitting her vision of an ideal society." — Jim Jose: "Reflections on the Politics of Le Guin's Narrative Shifts" in Science Fiction Studies, vol. 18, no. 2, 1991, pp. 180–197. The Dispossessed "reveals the author's broad and sympathetic understanding of anarchist theory." — Victor Urbanowicz: "Personal and Political in 'The Disposessed'" in Science Fiction Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 1978, pp. 110–117. I think it is safe to say that many scholars in peer-reviewed academic journals believe that Le Guin is an anarchist.

@Preparemyguillotine: Fair enough. I've added the category myself. Two unrelated suggestions, since your account history suggests you are new to Wikipedia; first, you should sign your talk page posts; second, while you are entitled to describe yourself how you please on your userpage, the description you have at the moment is likely to lead to some folks accusing you of having some sort of agenda. Just food for thought. Welcome to Wikipedia. Vanamonde (Talk) 04:41, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

Pre-FAC reviewEdit

I'll add notes here; not sure how much I'll have time to do each day, but I will try to peck away at it. I'll review as if this were FAC, except that normally at FAC I would do a fair bit of copyediting myself. That can be time consuming though so I might just point out issues rather than try to fix them; hope that's OK.

No problems with you leaving comments, however minor.
  • First published in 1959, her literary career spanned nearly sixty years: needs rephrasing -- her literary career wasn't published in 1959.
  • Suggest dropping the quotes on "an author of science fiction"; just saying "science fiction author" is hardly plagiarism and the quotes are a slight interruption to readability.
  • Le Guin said she would prefer to be known as an "American novelist",[2] and has also been called a "major voice in American Letters". Needs restructuring. These two thoughts aren't parallel enough to be put together like this -- both are about a description of her work, but one is her own and the other is an assessment, so "also" is the wrong connector.
  • and was the subject of intense critical attention: suggest "has been the subject of..."
  • was deemed a Grand Master: I think "deemed" is the wrong word -- it implies "considered" rather than "awarded". Perhaps "honored as a"? But that conflicts with the end of the sentence. How about "and in 2003 was only the second woman to be honored as a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America"?
    I like it better, done.
  • Is it right to say "she began writing full-time in the late 1950s"? Her first story is not published till 1961; she only has one poem that I know of published pre-1960. Of course she could have been writing for years and not publishing, but I just wanted to check you have a source to that effect. You say she began writing novels about Orsinia from 1951, so perhaps "late 1950s" is too late?
    I do actually have sources saying this. It seems as though she was a dilettante writer for quite a while, as she juggled children and other jobs; but gave up being a secretary and whatnot to write full time once the children were grown, in the late 1950s. However, she didn't have much success with getting published until a little later than that.
    OK, was just checking. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 08:15, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Is it worth mentioning where "Folksong from the Montayna Province" and "An die Musik" were published?
    Well they're rather obscure publications, and both are listed in full at the bibliography; in an article topping 8000 words, I felt it to be unnecessary detail. But if you feel strongly, I can easily make the addition.
    No, that's a perfectly good reason not to mention them. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 08:15, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

-- Stopping there for now, in the "Critical attention" section. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:24, 6 August 2019 (UTC)


  • {{a name=bloom}}A Wizard of Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness were described by critic Harold Bloom as Le Guin's masterpieces: I don't know when Bloom said this, but unless it was more or less contemporary, I'd make it "have been described".
    Looks like this wasn't done, so I went ahead and made the change myself. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:37, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
    Oh I did it in the lead but missed it in the body. Thanks. Vanamonde (Talk) 14:52, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
  • The Left Hand of Darkness was also a personal milestone for Le Guin: critics described it as her "first contribution to feminism". I'm not sure "personal milestone" is the best way to say this. If we say it's her first feminist work, the "milestone" is implied, which might be enough. And I think we don't need to mention critics inline to justify it -- it's not controversial. How about "Her next novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, was a Hainish Universe story exploring themes of gender and sexuality on a fictional planet where humans have no fixed sex.[48] The book was Le Guin's first contribution to feminism, and according to scholar Donna White it 'stunned..."? Or perhaps "first to address feminist issues"?
    I like the latter better, done.
  • If we're going to say "most overt political statement" I think we should give the reader a pointer to the political issue the book addressed.
    Sure. It was anti-war stuff. Added.
  • The fiction of the period 1966 to 1974, which also included the Hugo Award-winning "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" and the Nebula Award-winning "The Day Before the Revolution",[53] has been described by scholar Elizabeth Cummins as Le Guin's best-known body of work. And by just about everyone else, I would think. If you can find enough overt or implied support in other critical commentary I'd suggest making this just "constitutes Le Guin's best-known body of work"; I don't think this is controversial. And it might fit more naturally after the sentence about The Dispossessed.
    Fair enough. I think it's generally recognized; a good two thirds of the critical material is about Left Hand, the Dispossessed, and early Earthsea, which is all from that period.
  • The description of The Wind's Twelve Quarters implies it contains material written in the second half of the 1970s, but in fact the material in it is contemporary with the works discussed in the previous section. I'd move it to that section and clarify that it collects (most of, I think) her short work from that period.
    Fair enough. I think this leaves the wider exploration section somewhat brief, though; I've added a little detail; I might try to add a little more later (I'm away from my hard copy sources at the moment).
  • The mention of Always Coming Home is slotted in with the children's books -- I'm not sure a reader unfamiliar with the book would realize it was not aimed at younger readers.
    Hmm. I feel like the unwritten assumption is that books not explicitly children's books are adult books; but I see your point. I've reordered, though I'm not too happy as it upsets the chronology.
  • She also revisited Earthsea, publishing Tehanu in 1992: coming eighteen years after The Farthest Shore, during which Le Guin's views had developed considerably, the book was grimmer in tone than the earlier works in the series, and challenged some ideas presented therein; nonetheless, it received critical praise. I paused when I read this. I know that "had developed considerably" is a reference to the feminist critiques of Earthsea and Le Guin's response. Glancing down the page I don't think you expand on this in the article, but it's a significant point; the Clute/Nicholls article on UKL discusses at some length, for example. I think it should be addressed, though perhaps this is not the best place in the article for that discussion. And is "nonetheless" the right word? Challenging her earlier ideas doesn't necessarily imply that critics would dislike the book, does it?
    I did mention it briefly in "themes", though I focused on the Hainish works. I've added a bit more, but in that section; I don't think the chronology is the place to go into it in detail.
    The quote from SFE3 that I'm thinking of is this: "However, over the next decade a certain backlash against Le Guin became evident from the women's movement. It was alleged that, especially in this trilogy, Le Guin saw men as the actors and doers in the world (magicians are male) while women remain the still centre, the well from which they drink. Le Guin's Feminism certainly altered in nature over the next two decades (as evident in Always Coming Home), and she also made a kind of restitution by writing a fourth novel in the Earthsea series: Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea (1990)." Currently the article focuses on the LHOD critiques, but the Earthsea critiques were significant too. If SFE3 is not enough I can see what I can dig up in the way of scholarly articles, but SFE3 is a respected tertiary source and I think would be fine. I don't think you need much, but the article makes it sound as though the criticism was solely about LHOD. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:37, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, good point. Indeed the criticism is made about The Tombs of Atuan quite explicitly in the scholarly sources, so I think using the encyclopedia to make the broader point is fine; I will work on adding a little. Vanamonde (Talk) 15:57, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
    Added. Vanamonde (Talk)
  • Given Lindow's description, how about a half-sentence explaining what "Coming of Age in Karhide" is about?
  • All of the stories explored freedom and rebellion within a slave society: my memory of these stories is hazy, but is that a true statement? It doesn't apply to "Coming of Age", does it?
    Your memory seems fine :) I see why you parsed it that way, but the statement was only meant to refer to the last five of the seven stories in that paragraph; I've reworded to avoid making it ambiguous.
  • I suggest giving the title of the Library of America two-volume set inline; it seems a little odd not to mention it.
    Sure, done.
  • I hadn't heard of the 2018 collection Dreams Must Explain Themselves, and I've been unable to dig up the contents list. Is it an expansion of the 1975 Algol Press collection? I used to have a copy of that. Perhaps that was such a small-press release that it doesn't need to be mentioned outside her bibliography -- if I recall correctly it was a tiny print run for the 1975 edition.
    The title is that of an essay. The 1975 Algol volume included the essay, a speech, a story, and an interview. The same essay was also included in the 2018 volume, where it again supplied the title; but the 2018 volume was a printing of a considerable number of essays, from a much larger publisher. Details are at the bibliography. I don't think the 1975 piece notable enough to be worth mentioning in the bio; I cannot recall a source mentioning it outside of a bibliography, and sometimes not even then. Vanamonde (Talk) 18:46, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
    Fair enough. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:37, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

-- Now done through "Later writings". Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:01, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

  • and White states that her work is difficult to classify: I think we could just make this “and as a result her work is difficult to classify”, citing White. The quote from Slusser further down could be seen as supporting this.Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:56, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
    Fair point, done. Vanamonde (Talk) 16:53, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
  • The society of the Kesh has been identified by scholars as a feminist utopia, in which the story also explores the role of technology: suggest "as a feminist utopia, which also explores the role of technology".'s the story doing the exploring, not the utopia?
    I was thinking of the "literary form" usage of "utopia", rather than the "imaginary place" meaning; I see your point but the sentence reads oddly if you parse it my way, as others may. How about something like "...feminist utopia, which Le Guin uses to explore the role..."?
    That sounds good, done.
  • The Word for World is Forest the manner in which the structure of society affects the natural environment: looks like a missing word?
    Indeed. Fixed.
  • Is it Annals of the Western Shore or The Annals...? I made one edit for consistency but I see another form of the title in there so I thought I should check.
    It's just "Annals"; if I inserted a "the" it was because I wasn't paying close attention.
    Fixed one instance. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:41, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • she has been described as being the "premier writer of both fantasy and science fiction" in the 1970s,[174] the most frequently discussed science fiction writer in the 1970s: for both of these I would guess the intended meaning is that she is premier/most-discussed 1970s writer, but I would expect that to be phrased as "of the 1970s" to avoid the implication that these descriptions were applied in the 1970s, so I think rephrasing would be good.
    Good point, done.
  • Later in her career, she also received recognition from mainstream literary critics: in an obituary, Jo Walton stated that Le Guin "was so good that the mainstream couldn't dismiss SF any more" I'm not very familiar with Walton, but I believe she's a genre commentator, and since this is an obituary which presumably doesn't give further details, I don't think this is a good source for the claim in the first half of the sentence, though I can see the quote is handy if you can source the claim elsewhere.
    I will look for better sourcing, but I think it's worth noting that Jo Walton herself is a writer of considerable repute; she has a Nebula and a Hugo to her name. So she's not a lightweight, either; and in some ways a shorter source is a better one for a broad synthesis, because the books focus on details to such an extent.
    Okay, I have added a citation to White that describes Le Guin's efforts to support mainstream recognition for speculative fiction, and a citation to Cadden supporting her willingness to push the boundaries of genre. I think that should do it.
  • The second mention of White is a long way from the first, so I'd make it "Donna White" at least, if not "scholar Donna White".
  • I think you can normalize the capitalization of "self-Parody"; it's only spelled that way because it's a headword elsewhere in SFE3, and we're allowed to silently correct obvious errors in quotes, which could be stretched to allow this.
  • You might move the NYT link to the first occurrence.
  • Does a quote from Vice belong in the same paragraph as Clute, Zadie Smith, the LA Times, and the NYT? I don't know it but from the article it seems a minor publication, and unless I'm wrong about that it devalues the other comments in that paragraph.
    I suspect that it's far better known than many genre publications; it has a circulation of 900,000, which is the same reach as the LA Times (admittedly, the latter is a daily, while Vice is monthly; but Vice is only commentary, not news). If you feel strongly about it, I will remove it.
    I'm not familiar with it but will take your word for it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:41, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • The last paragraph of the reception section suffers from the "A said B" problem; it's not going to be easy to fix, but I don't think that's an FA-quality paragraph as it stands.
    Okay, I've reordered some of the material, and added a sentence; I think it flows better; let me know if you have further ideas.
    I've stared at it a bit and can't see any way to improve it, so I'll strike the comment. I might come back and have another go. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:56, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Some of the awards and recognition details seem quite minor. What about a List of accolades received by Ursula Le Guin? That would allow you to hive off some of the details. For example the number of nominations vs. wins seems like a fairly low-level detail, and (admittedly without evidence) I suspect the Society for Utopian Studies and the Freedom from Religion Foundation of being organizations whose awards are not really as newsworthy as some of the others listed. And we could probably omit to mention how many women subsequently became Grand Masters.
    I think a list article is probably viable, but, my few experiences with creating lists, including Le Guin's biography, have convinced me that I'm not cut out for it, so I'm not going to. I believe I have only listed nominations for Hugos, Nebulas, and Mythopoeic awards; of these, Hugo and Nebula nominations I think we can agree are significant; we could potentially drop the Mythopoeic award, though as a named fiction award, I think it's significant, too. The two society awards you mentioned I removed; you're right in that they have little impact. I disagree about the number of women grandmasters; I think the rarity of that event is attested to by enough sources that the fact that there were many more after than before her is worth mentioning (it's also only 8 words).
    Good enough; the ones you removed are the ones that were bugging me the most. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:41, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • The notion that names can exert power is also present in Hayao Miyazaki's 2001 film Spirited Away; critics have suggested that that idea originated with Le Guin's Earthsea series: suggest making it clearer that this only refers to the film's use of the idea originating with Earthsea; the idea itself is much older. And why "also present"? It's not been mentioned to this point.
    I guess the "Also" referred to the same idea in Le Guin's work, but yes, it's unnecessary. Removed, and clarified.
    The wording still bothers me a bit; "originated" isn't quite right since the Earthsea books are the source, not the origin. How about "The notion that names can exert power is a theme in the Earthsea series; critics have suggested that this inspired Hayao Miyazaki's use of the idea in his 2001 film Spirited Away."? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:41, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
    That flows well, done.
  • A fair bit more "A said B" in the "Legacy and influence" section. The paragraphs are certainly organized thematically; it's just within the paragraphs that there's no flow for the reader to follow.
    I've tried more reorganization...
    I copyedited one paragraph; what do you think? For the second paragraph, how about linking the last three sentences, which all talk about the seminal nature of LHOD: perhaps " one of the books in his conception of artistic works that have been important and influential in Western culture. This view was echoed in The Paris Review: "No single work did more to upend the genre's conventions than The Left Hand of Darkness", and Donna White argues that The Left Hand of Darkness was one of the seminal works of science fiction, as important as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818)." The Suzanne Reid sentence could go up after the ansible sentence, which lets you introduce LHOD and then finish with these linked sentences -- as it stands Reid's comment feels like a bit of a non sequitur. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:56, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
    I'm fine with your copyedits. I like your suggestion also, and implemented something very similar [1]. Let me know if that works, or if it needs further tweaks.
  • screen adaptations of her work till date: "to date"? Or "to that date"?
  • There are an awful lot of "adapt"s and "adaptations" in that paragraph; any way to eliminate a couple?
    Yeah there were rather a lot. I removed a half dozen; more is difficult.
    I think you could eliminate at least one more by getting rid of the first sentence, which is summative but not really required -- just start with "The Left Hand of Darkness was adapted for the stage in 1995 by...". Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:41, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
    Okay, done.

-- Generally this is FA-quality, with a couple of problems noted above. The coverage and weighting seem right to me. Once these points are addressed I expect to support when you take this to FAC. Congratulations; this is very good work. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 16:34, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for taking the time to review this, Mike. I've worked through your easier comments; the three trickier ones will take me a little longer, but I'll do my best with them before sending this to FAC. Best, Vanamonde (Talk) 00:11, 19 August 2019 (UTC)


Do we really need both of these? (See above.)

Top section
She began writing full-time in the late 1950s and achieved major critical and commercial success with A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) and The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), which have been described by Harold Bloom as her masterpieces.[4]

§Critical attention
A Wizard of Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness have been described by critic Harold Bloom as Le Guin's masterpieces.[4]

--Thnidu (talk) 01:58, 23 October 2019 (UTC)

@Thnidu: I think we do. The lead is supposed to be a summary, after all; there shouldn't be substantive content in it which isn't in the body. I supposed we could drop Bloom's name from the lead if we must, but we need the description. Vanamonde (Talk) 15:30, 23 October 2019 (UTC)
@Vanamonde93: Well, yes, I have to agree with you there. No need to change at all, then. Thanks. --Thnidu (talk) 16:27, 23 October 2019 (UTC)

Refusal of Nebula for "The Diary of the Rose"Edit

Vanamonde93, Staszek Lem, re recent edits: I think 1977 is more likely to be the correct date. See here for example. Searching Google Books for ' " diary of the rose" lem nebula' gives me snippets that seem to support the 1977 date too, though I can't really see the sources. Spivak is one of them but I don't think I have a copy. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:24, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

@Mike Christie: I looked into this a little more, and I think you're right; it's our featured list that's wrong. The piece seems to have been published in 1976, so 1975 isn't right for certain. There's some awards listed for it in 1976 [2], and some in 1977 [3]. I've self-reverted. I will check Spivack when I return home this evening, or perhaps tomorrow. Vanamonde (Talk) 15:47, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, I didnt reply earlier due to time frame. Currently I am writing the article on "The Diary..." ( because it is associated with Stanislaw Lem; I don't really familiar with Le Guin's work in depth), therefore I noticed this date blunder. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:34, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

OK. I am finished creatin The Diary of the Rose (to the extent of bulletproofness against deletionists and to address my sinister intentions:). I invite fans of Le Guin to fill the new article with the essence and to link it wherever it may be mentioned. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:41, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

B.T.W. I am unsure how to categorize the novelette. I tentatively put it into the category:Short stories by Ursula K. Le Guin etc., following the example of the 1978 Nebula best novelette The Screwfly Solution. Staszek Lem (talk)


There is currently a separate article for this, and it’s a complete mess. I’d love to see a dedicated Le Guinean fix this for the masses who can benefit from reading it. Morganfitzp (talk) 03:50, 7 March 2020 (UTC)

I'd like to think of myself as a dedicated Le Guinean, and I wrote the entirety of that article. I'm sorry you find it difficult to follow, but it's structure mirrors that of most available Le Guin bibliographies, and the page got through our fairly rigorous process for becoming a featured list. Vanamonde (Talk) 18:03, 7 March 2020 (UTC)
I agree; I don't see anything obviously wrong with the bibliography. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 18:06, 7 March 2020 (UTC)
for me to following order of the list is a mess indeed. Its not chronological, its not alphabetical, its not on isbn number, its not on 'type format' , its not on coherent at all. can you please explain the logic you follow in this list? (talk) 21:08, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
The list is sorted by setting, then by format, and then by chronology, which is the format most bibliographies of Le Guin follow. It is also sortable both alphabetically and chronologically. I really don't see the problem here. Vanamonde (Talk) 22:42, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

Picture of GaimanEdit

The picture of Neil Gaiman is in the article to illustrate the influence Le Guin had on her field. It was, till shortly before, a picture of Salman Rushdie, for the same reason. The article has been through FAC, and so the use of the image has received considerable scrutiny. I'm happy to discuss this, but I do resent the repeated insinuation that it's in some way a promotion of Gaiman. Vanamonde (Talk) 15:11, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

I agree; Gaiman is well-known and it seems harmlessly decorative to have a picture of a significant writer influence by Le Guin. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 15:34, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
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