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Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin is famous for her unusual stories and is best known for her four novels, beginning with A Wizard of Earthsea and ending with Tehanu, that are set in the imaginary land of Earthsea.

Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California. Growing up in a stimulating home filled with books and visited by scientists and writers, Le Guin absorbed her parents' interest in the study of different cultures. "My father studied real cultures and I make them up--in a way, it's the same thing," she notes.

Le Guin keeps extending her work. Her futuristic novel Always Coming Home includes both poetry and prose, and the book comes with a tape of music.

It has been noted that Le Guin brings to science fiction and fantasy a "new sensitivity" and "a number of striking and sympathetic characters." One critic claims that she "examines, attacks, unbuttons, takes down, and exposes our notions of reality" and does so "in almost unearthly terms."