Ursula K. Le Guin: A Critical Companion

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 198 pages

Though science fiction has existed as a literary genre for well over a century, a working definition of the term has yet to be determined. Ursula K. Le Guin, who emerged as a popular science fiction and fantasy writer in the 1960s, has not only witnessed, but also experienced first-hand the shifts and transformations of this increasingly popular genre. Delve into her fantastical worlds and investigate several of her famous works in this study ideal for high school and undergraduate students. Learn about the author's life and decade-spanning career, as well as her numerous literary achievements. This comprehensive analysis of Le Guin's work will leave readers anxious for her future endeavors.

After a biography that focuses on Le Guin's interest in science fiction, this study delves into analyses of Le Guin's most well-known works, with emphasis on plot, as well as thematic and character development. Works covered include:

; A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)

; The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)

; The Tombs of Atuan (1970)

; The Farthest Shore (1972)

; The Lathe of Heaven (1973)

; The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (1974)

; The Eye of the Heron (1978)

; Tehanu (1990)

and more.

 

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Contents

2 The Literary Genealogy of Science Fiction and Ursula K Le Guin
13
3 The Left Hand of Darkness 1969
21
4 The Lathe of Heaven 1971
35
An Ambiguous Utopia 1974
47
6 The Eye of the Heron 1978
63
7 The Telling 2000
75
8 Ursula K Le Guins Earthsea Books and Fantasy
87
9 A Wizard of Earthsea 1968
95
10 The Tombs of Atuan 1970
107
11 The Farthest Shore 1972
117
12 Tehanu 1990
127
13 The Finder from Tales from Earthsea 2001
143
14 Dragonfly and The Other Wind 1997 and 2001
155
Bibliography
169
Index
191
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About the author (2006)

Susan M. Bernardo is professor of English at Wagner College, Staten Island, New York. She teaches courses in Victorian literature, gothic and detective fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and fairy tales. She has published articles on George Eliot, Mary Shelley, Tim Burton, and C.J. Cherryh. She has also co-edited Gender Reconstructions: Pornography and Perversions in Literature and Culture and contributed an entry on Abandoned or Murdered Children to Archetypes and Motifs in Folklore and Literature. Her other research interests include Oscar Wilde's essays and fiction, and Anne Thackeray's stories.

Graham J. Murphy is adjunct faculty at Trent University (Peterborough, ON) and Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology (Toronto, ON). He teaches courses in science fiction, utopian fiction, and general survey courses in English Literature. He has published articles on William Gibson, Pat Cadigan, Melissa Scott, Robert Charles Wilson, and Greg Egan in such sources as Science Fiction Studies, Foundation, and Extrapolation. By an odd twist of fate he also co-edited The Irish in Popular Literature of the Early American Republic: Paddy Whacking. He was the 2005 Chair of the Philip K. Dick Award.

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