The New Yorker, “The Subversive Imagination of Ursula K. Le Guin”

The first words I read by the writer Ursula K. Le Guin, who died this week, at the age of eighty-eight, were “Come home!” The plea—a mother’s to a departing child—opens Le Guin’s novel “The Tombs of Atuan.” I was twelve years old and hooked. Home and homecoming were among the most powerful themes of Le Guin’s work, but she was a deep and complex writer, and “home” stood for many things, including being true to one’s art. In her essay “The Operating Instructions,” she wrote, “Home isn’t where they have to let you in. It’s not a place at all. Home is imaginary. Home, imagined, comes to be.”

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