Ursula K Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who explored feminist themes and was best known for her Earthsea books, has died at 88.
Le Guin at her home in Portland, Ore., in 2005.
Le Guin was the author of 20 novels, six volumes of poetry, 13 books for children, many short stories as well as literary criticism, according to her website.
Le Guin went on to win several lifetime achievement awards for science fiction, including the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America organization, and in recent years stretched far beyond the genre in books such as "Lavinia" (2008), which made a minor character from Virgil's "Aeneid" the star of her own story.
"She left an extraordinary legacy as an artist and as an advocate of peace and critical thinking and fairness, and she was a great mother and wife as well", he said.
Le Guin was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 2014 National Book Awards.
The Left Hand of Darkness has been reprinted more than 30 times and many of her works have been translated into more than 40 languages, selling millions of copies worldwide.
"Godspeed into the galaxy", Stephen King tweeted, saying Le Guin was a literary icon, not just a science fiction writer. Across more than 20 novels and scores of short stories, Le Guin crafted fantastic worlds to grapple with profoundly hard questions here on Earth, from class divisions to feminist theory. A private service will be held in Portland where she lived since 1958. She wrote often about magic, balance, and always layered in a sense of compassion to her works.
A member of the Class of 1947 of Berkeley High School, Le Guin was the daughter of anthropologists, Alfred L. Kroeber and Theodora Quinn Kroeber.
While Ms. Le Guin occasionally ventured into realistic fiction, she aimed to avoid the standard fare of contemporary literature, books that she once derided as "fiction about dysfunctional urban middle-class people written in the present tense". "I hope you live without the need to dominate, and without the need to be dominated". While on a Fulbright fellowship to Paris she met and married Charles Le Guin. Her success followed an early setback: At age 11, she had her first offering rejected by Amazing Stories, the pioneering science fiction magazine. They later moved to Portland, OR, where they remained to raise a family. What she wrote influenced people, changed lives, improved the world.
You might think it odd that I would use these terms to describe an author and her books, but truth be told, it is well deserved. And in the different societies of The Dispossessed, published in 1974, Le Guin explores the frictions born of vastly different ideologies scraping up against each other.