Episode 30: Ursula K. Le Guin

Nation of Writers
Nation of Writers
Episode 30: Ursula K. Le Guin

In this episode, we’ll discuss the life and work of Ursula K. Le Guin. As you can read on her website, UrsulaKLeGuin.com, she was, “a celebrated author whose body of work includes 23 novels, 12 volumes of short stories, 11 volumes of poetry, 13 children’s books, five essay collections, and four works of translation. The breadth and imagination of her work earned her six Nebula Awards, seven Hugo Awards, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association’s Grand Master Award, along with the PEN/Malamud and many other awards. In 2014 she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and in 2016 joined the short list of authors to be published in their lifetimes by the Library of America.”

For this episode we are honored to speak with multi-award-winning science fiction and comics author Charlie Jane Anders. And Theo Downes-Le Guin, Ursula’s son and the trustee of the Ursula K. Le Guin Literary Trust. You can read their full bios below.

Charlie Jane and Theo are interviewed by Nate King, Digital Content Associate at the American Writers Museum. This conversation originally took place June 28, 2023 and was recorded over Zoom.


Charlie Jane Anders is the author of the Unstoppable trilogy: Victories Greater Than Death, Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak, and Promises Stronger Than Darkness. She’s also the author of the short story collection Even Greater Mistakes, and Never Say You Can’t Survive (August 2021), a book about how to use creative writing to get through hard times. Her other books include The City in the Middle of the Night and All the Birds in the Sky. She’s won the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, Lambda Literary, Crawford and Locus Awards. She co-created Escapade, a transgender superhero, for Marvel Comics and wrote her into the long-running New Mutants comic. And she’s currently the science fiction and fantasy book reviewer for the Washington Post. Her TED Talk, “Go Ahead, Dream About the Future” got 700,000 views in its first week. With Annalee Newitz, she co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct.

Theo Downes-Le Guin is trustee of the Ursula K. Le Guin Literary Trust. Check out his fascinating recent piece in LitHub title “Why I Decided to Update the Language in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Children’s Books.”

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