Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (born October 21, 1929) is an American author of novels, children’s books, and short stories, mainly in the genres of fantasy and science fiction. She has also written poetry and essays. First published in the 1960s, her work has often depicted futuristic or imaginary alternative worlds in politics, natural environment, gender, religion, sexuality and ethnography.
She was influenced by fantasy writers like J. R. R. Tolkien, by science fiction writers like Philip K. Dick, by central figures of Western literature like Leo Tolstoy, Virgil and the Brontë sisters, by feminist writers like Virginia Woolf, by children’s literature like Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Book, by Norse mythology, and by books from the Eastern tradition such as the Tao Te Ching. In turn, she influenced such Booker Prize winners and other writers, as Salman Rushdie and David Mitchell – and notable futurism and fantasy writers like Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks. She has won the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award, each more than once.
1. I TALK ABOUT THE GODS, I AM AN ATHEIST. BUT I AM AN ARTIST TOO, AND THEREFORE A LIAR. DISTRUST EVERYTHING I SAY. I AM TELLING THE TRUTH.
2. IT IS GOOD TO HAVE AN END TO JOURNEY TOWARD, BUT IT IS THE JOURNEY THAT MATTERS IN THE END.
3. LOVE DOESN’T JUST SIT THERE, LIKE A STONE; IT HAS TO BE MADE, LIKE BREAD, REMADE ALL THE TIME, MADE NEW.
4. THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES LIFE POSSIBLE IS PERMANENT, INTOLERABLE UNCERTAINTY; NOT KNOWING WHAT COMES NEXT.
5. THE POWER OF THE HARASSER, THE ABUSER, THE RAPIST DEPENDS ABOVE ALL ON THE SILENCE OF WOMEN.
6. I DOUBT THAT THE IMAGINATION CAN BE SUPPRESSED. IF YOU TRULY ERADICATED IT IN A CHILD, HE WOULD GROW UP TO BE AN EGGPLANT.
7. IN SO FAR AS ONE DENIES WHAT IS, ONE IS POSSESSED BY WHAT IS NOT, THE COMPULSIONS, THE FANTASIES, THE TERRORS THAT FLOCK TO FILL THE VOID.
8. I CERTAINLY WASN’T HAPPY. HAPPINESS HAS TO DO WITH REASON, AND ONLY REASON EARNS IT. WHAT I WAS GIVEN WAS THE THING YOU CAN’T EARN, AND CAN’T KEEP, AND OFTEN DON’T EVEN RECOGNIZE AT THE TIME; I MEAN JOY.
9. GREAT ARTISTS MAKE THE ROADS; GOOD TEACHERS AND GOOD COMPANIONS CAN POINT THEM OUT. BUT THERE AIN’T NO FREE RIDES, BABY.
10. INVENTIONS HAVE LONG SINCE REACHED THEIR LIMIT, AND I SEE NO HOPE FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT.
11. THE CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION ARE ALWAYS UNGRATEFUL, AND THE REVOLUTION MUST BE GRATEFUL THAT IT IS SO.
12. HE IS FAR TOO INTELLIGENT TO BECOME REALLY CEREBRAL.
13. AS GREAT SCIENTISTS HAVE SAID AND AS ALL CHILDREN KNOW, IT IS ABOVE ALL BY THE IMAGINATION THAT WE ACHIEVE PERCEPTION, AND COMPASSION, AND HOPE.
14. TO OPPOSE SOMETHING IS TO MAINTAIN IT.
15. WE ARE VOLCANOES. WHEN WE WOMEN OFFER OUR EXPERIENCE AS OUR TRUTH, AS HUMAN TRUTH, ALL THE MAPS CHANGE. THERE ARE NEW MOUNTAINS.
16. IF YOU WANT YOUR WRITING TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY, DON’T MARRY AND HAVE KIDS, AND ABOVE ALL, DON’T DIE. BUT IF YOU HAVE TO DIE, COMMIT SUICIDE. THEY APPROVE OF THAT.
17. MY IMAGINATION MAKES ME HUMAN AND MAKES ME A FOOL; IT GIVES ME ALL THE WORLD, AND EXILES ME FROM IT.
18. THE CREATIVE ADULT IS THE CHILD WHO HAS SURVIVED.
19. MORNING COMES WHETHER YOU SET THE ALARM OR NOT.
20. THE UNREAD STORY IS NOT A STORY; IT IS LITTLE BLACK MARKS ON WOOD PULP. THE READER, READING IT, MAKES IT LIVE: A LIVE THING, A STORY.
21. TO LIGHT A CANDLE IS TO CAST A SHADOW.
22. IT HAD NEVER OCCURRED TO ME BEFORE THAT MUSIC AND THINKING ARE SO MUCH ALIKE. IN FACT YOU COULD SAY MUSIC IS ANOTHER WAY OF THINKING, OR MAYBE THINKING IS ANOTHER KIND OF MUSIC.
23. I GET A LOT OF MORAL GUIDANCE FROM READING NOVELS, SO I GUESS I EXPECT MY NOVELS TO OFFER SOME MORAL GUIDANCE, BUT THEY’RE NOT BLUEPRINTS FOR ACTION, EVER.
24. I DO TRY TO SEPARATE MY PERSONAL ACTIVISM – SHOWING UP AT A DEMONSTRATION OR SOMETHING – FROM WHAT I WRITE.
25. THERE ARE NO RIGHT ANSWERS TO WRONG QUESTIONS.
26. IF SCIENCE FICTION IS THE MYTHOLOGY OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY, THEN ITS MYTH IS TRAGIC.
27. WHAT SANE PERSON COULD LIVE IN THIS WORLD AND NOT BE CRAZY?
28. THERE’S A GOOD DEAL IN COMMON BETWEEN THE MIND’S EYE AND THE TV SCREEN, AND THOUGH THE TV SET HAS ALL TOO OFTEN BEEN THE BOOBTUBE, IT COULD BE, IT CAN BE, THE BOX OF DREAMS.
29. I DON’T TEACH WRITING CLASSES ANYMORE, AND I’M REALLY GLAD I DON’T, BECAUSE I WOULD FEEL VERY STRANGE ABOUT TELLING PEOPLE, ‘GO OUT THERE AND BE A WRITER, AND MAKE A LIVING FROM IT.’
30. THE ONLY QUESTIONS THAT REALLY MATTER ARE THE ONES YOU ASK YOURSELF.
31. WHEN ACTION GROWS UNPROFITABLE, GATHER INFORMATION; WHEN INFORMATION GROWS UNPROFITABLE, SLEEP.
32. I DON’T WRITE TRACTS, I WRITE NOVELS. I’M NOT A PREACHER, I’M A FICTION WRITER.
33. IT IS ABOVE ALL BY THE IMAGINATION THAT WE ACHIEVE PERCEPTION AND COMPASSION AND HOPE.
34. THE ARTIST DEALS IN WHAT CANNOT BE SAID IN WORDS. THE ARTIST WHOSE MEDIUM IS FICTION DOES THIS IN WORDS. THE NOVELIST SAYS IN WORDS WHAT CANNOT BE SAID IN WORDS.