Back The Ursula K. Le Guin–Harold Bloom connection, and other news for Le Guin’s 90th birthday

Ursula K. Le Guin, who died on January 22, 2018, at the age of 88, would have turned 90 years old today.

Ursula K. Le Guin and friend, date unknown. (Wikimedia Commons)

Readers don’t need to be told that Le Guin’s impact and influence remain undiminished, but it’s worth remarking on how she hasn’t lacked for visibility in the months since her death. Arwen Curry’s widely hailed documentary Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin aired on PBS’s American Masters series this summer; as a sign of the boundary-straddling nature of Le Guin’s appeal, the film benefited from both a Kickstarter campaign and funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

September, meanwhile, brought the news that her Earthsea cycle of novels and short stories is being adapted for television, in a form that’s more likely to win over her fans than the ill-fated previous TV and movie versions.

Today we’re pleased to reveal that Library of America has its own significant contributions to add to the Le Guin legacy. LOA Associate Editor Stefanie Peters offers a preview of what’s ahead:

“We have plans to continue our Le Guin edition with at least three more volumes of fiction—the next, collecting the trilogy Annals of the Western Shore in one volume for the first time, and containing a never-before-published map drawn by Le Guin, will be published in October 2020—and a volume collecting her poetry, with an introduction by Harold Bloom, which was one of the last things he wrote before he died. He wrote: ‘The voice in her poems haunts me. I know that it haunts many others. It will continue to do that for a long time to come.’

“Beyond these concrete plans,” Peters continues, “we hope that Le Guin’s complete fiction as well as her wonderful essays will join the LOA series in the future.”

Annals of the Western Shore will include the novels Gifts (2004), Voices (2006), and Powers (2007); several essays on the books; and a set of interviews she gave around the time of their publication. The volume will be edited by Brian Attebery, professor of English at Idaho State University and the editor of all four of LOA’s previous Le Guin titles.

Watch this space for additional details on Annals and other things Le Guin in the months ahead.

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