Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018) -- Criticism and interpretation, Science fiction, American -- History and criticism Fantasy fiction, Women and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century


The aim of this research study was to examine how Ursula K. Le Guin and her oeuvre were influential to contemporary and future writers, as well as what her influence was on the literary and publishing communities. Study was conducted through a qualitative interview process with seven Portlanders who have in some way been influenced by and/or who personally knew Le Guin. Using the transcripts from the interviews, I separated the information into themes and wrote out each section, synthesizing interviewee answers and using supplemental information to build my results. Ursula K. Le Guin influenced the literary and publishing communities through: The many important themes she was able to bring forth with her writing; her significant improvement and widening of the science fiction and fantasy genres; her inclusion and diversification of her characters within her oeuvre, effectively uplifting and encouraging marginalized voices; her unending support of her regional and indie literary ecosystem; and her generational influence. In addition to these direct influences, Le Guin’s attitude regarding the increasing commodification of books and the division between the literary and genre fictions in the canon did not escape my research. All of the above have a part to play in how Le Guin continues to be an inspiration. So please, with great appreciation for the way that her life and her words changed the literary landscape, join me in remembering Ursula K. Le Guin.


Paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Writing: Book Publishing.