Author Ursula K. Le Guin shares thoughts on book

By Jake Bolitho at

Ursula K. Le Guin has been creating fantasy and science fiction worlds for more than 40 years, and for a month, the Jackson District Library will become one.

As part of the Big Read — an annual event sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts — the library will host a series of events inspired by Le Guin’s “A Wizard of Earthsea.” The novel is often compared to the wizarding tales of Harry Potter but was inked 30 years earlier. The Citizen Patriot conducted the following interview with Le Guin prior to Saturday’s Big Read kickoff:

Citizen Patriot: The world depicted in the “Earthsea” series seems very complex. Did anything inspire its creation, like a part of the world you’ve been to or know of?

Le Guin: No, but after I’d written some of the books, I discovered pieces of Earthsea on Earth. One of them is Trinidad Bay, on the northern California coast. Another is the Scilly Isles, off the coast of south England. Nobody could make up places so fantastic.

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Mervyn Jones 1922-2010

Jo Walton at Tor

I was very sorry to learn of the death of the British novelist Mervyn Jones.

I never met him and don’t know much about his life, but I’ve loved his books for thirty years now. I first started reading him because the title of one of his books was an Auden quote. I was a teenager desperate for books with no discrimination when let loose in the library, which had advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes I got lucky, and this was one of those times. Today the Struggle wasn’t just about the Spanish Civil War as you might expect. It’s about two generations of two families of left wing British people, and how the Spanish Civil War changed their lives. It had great female characters. It had a kind of historical consciousness that you don’t normally see in mainstream fiction, and a class consciousness too, yet it was totally absorbed in its characters and their actions. It was like a family saga written by a communist. It blew my socks off.

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