Ursula K. Le Guin, best-selling science fiction author, dies
PORTLAND, Ore. - AP
"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.
"I really don't want to watch American literature get sold down the river," Le Guin said in the speech. "We who live by writing and publishing want - and should demand - our fair share of the proceeds. But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom."
Le Guin's first novel was "Rocannon's World" in 1966 but she gained fame three years later with "The Left Hand of Darkness," which won the Hugo and Nebula awards - top science fiction prizes - and conjures a radical change in gender roles well before the rise of the transgender community.
Her best-known works, the Earthsea books, have sold in the millions worldwide and have been translated into 16 languages. She also produced volumes of short stories, poetry, essays and literature for young adults.
A longtime feminist, Le Guin earned degrees from Radcliffe and Columbia. Her 1983 "Left-Handed Commencement Address" at Mills College was ranked one of the top 100 speeches of the 20th century in a 1999 survey by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Texas A&M University.
Born in Berkeley, California, on Oct. 21, 1929, Le Guin described a well-off childhood even during the Depression, with summers in the countryside. Her success followed an early setback: At age 11, she had her first offering rejected by Amazing Stories, the pioneering science fiction magazine.