New York: Ursula K Le Guin, the award- winning US science fiction and fantasy author, and avowed feminist whose books have sold millions worldwide, has died, her family has announced. She was 88.
Le Guin is best remembered for global bestselling "Earthsea" series, translated into many languages and adapted for the screen, in which an apprentice sorcerer fights against the powers of evil, decades before Harry Potter did the same.
In a career that spanned decades, she published more than 20 novels, wrote children's books, dozens of short stories, volumes of poetry and collections of essays.
Tributes quickly poured in, with American horror writer Stephen King mourning her.
Usula K. LeGuin, one of the greats, has passed. Not just a science fiction writer; a literary icon. Godspeed into the galaxy.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) January 23, 2018
Neil Gaiman too tweeted,
I just learned that Ursula K. Le Guin has died. Her words are always with us. Some of them are written on my soul. I miss her as a glorious funny prickly person, & I miss her as the deepest and smartest of the writers, too. Still honoured I got to do this: https://t.co/U4mma5pJMw— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 23, 2018
Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay too tweeted about her death.
Ursula Le Guin is such an enormous loss. Won't be summarized in a few words, or even many. One aspect: she was, right to the end - to NOW - vital, engaged, necessary, contributing so much. This is an en evening to mourn a giant.— Guy Gavriel Kay (@guygavrielkay) January 23, 2018
Novelist Hari Kunzru wrote,
Ursula Le Guin spoke to all writers: "The name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom." I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with her, drinking green tea and asking her questions https://t.co/1YQELvESEk— Hari Kunzru (@harikunzru) January 23, 2018
She was born in October 1929 in Berkeley, California, the daughter of anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, an expert on Native Americans, and Theodora Kroeber, who wrote "Ishi in Two Worlds" an acclaimed biography of about "the last wild Indian" in North America.
From childhood, she steeped herself in anthropology, mingling with her parents' guests -- fellow academics and visitors from around the world, including Native American friends, spending the summers at a ranch her father had bought in Napa Valley.
Educated at Radcliffe College, Massachusetts, and New York's Columbia University, Le Guin was a Fulbright Fellow in 1953, travelling to Paris, where she married her husband, the historian Charles Le Guin before the couple returned to the United States.
They settled in Portland, Oregon where they raised three children and Le Guin embarked on her prolific literary career.
"I didn't want to be a writer and lead the writer's life and be glamorous and go to New York. I just wanted to do my job writing, and to do it really well," she told The Paris Review in an interview from her family home in 2013.
Le Guin published her first novel, "Rocannon's World," in 1966 but found breakthrough success with the publication in 1969 of "The Left Hand of Darkness," which won a litany of prizes and became a great science fiction classic.
The novel, the beginning of the Hainish Cycle which contains six other titles, broke with the sclerotic patterns of science fiction's golden age.
In 2014, Le Guin was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the National Book Foundation....