The Language of the Night: Essays on Writing, Science Fiction, and Fantasy By Ursula  K. Le Guin Cover Image
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Featuring a new introduction by Ken Liu, this revised edition of Ursula K. Le Guin’s first full-length collection of essays covers her background as a writer and educator, on fantasy and science fiction, on writing, and on the future of literary science fiction.

“We like to think we live in daylight, but half the world is always dark; and fantasy, like poetry, speaks to the language of the night.” —Ursula K. Le Guin

Le Guin’s sharp and witty voice is on full display in this collection of twenty-four essays, revised by the author a decade after its initial publication in 1979. The collection covers a wide range of topics and Le Guin’s origins as a writer, her advocacy for science fiction and fantasy as mediums for true literary exploration, the writing of her own major works such as A Wizard of Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness, and her role as a public intellectual and educator. The book and each thematic section are brilliantly introduced and contextualized by Susan Wood, a professor at the University of British Columbia and a literary editor and feminist activist during the 1960s and ’70s.

A fascinating, intimate look into the exceptional mind of Le Guin whose insights remain as relevant and resonant today as when they were first published.

About the Author

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018) was the celebrated author of twenty-three novels, twelve volumes of short stories, eleven volumes of poetry, thirteen children’s books, five essay collections, and four works of translation. Her acclaimed books received the Hugo, Nebula, Endeavor, Locus, Otherwise, Theodore Sturgeon, PEN/Malamud, and National Book Awards; a Newbery Honor; and the Pushcart and Janet Heidinger Kafka Prizes, among others. 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. Le Guin was also the recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children’s May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award and the Margaret A. Edwards Award. She received lifetime achievement awards from the World Fantasy Convention, Los Angeles Times, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, and Willamette Writers, as well as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Award and the Library of Congress Living Legend Award. Her website is

Product Details
ISBN: 9781668034903
ISBN-10: 1668034905
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: May 14th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English