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View Diary: About That Kid in Omelas (291 comments)

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  •  Ursula was so awesome... (6+ / 0-)

    Perhaps inevitably, she lost her grip after the Seventies heyday. Grew too didactic and hectoring.

    Everyone should check out her last great short story, "Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight".

    It's impossible to describe or categorize. Awesome, awesome chunk of slipstream/magic realism.

    •  sorry, but can't let that comment go unanswered (19+ / 0-)

      even a cursory glance at her reviews over the last 30 years completely contradicts your pov.

      As someone who's read just about everything she's ever written, I would say she has gone from strength to strength, returning to earlier created realities to offer even more honed and powerful parables from their context.

      The three books she's added to the Earthsea original trilogy are just one example, and her short stories continue to turn your world inside out. I'd recommend for eg the Changing Planes collection.

      No-one has taught me more about what it means to be human, and the choices we face.

      Her feminist expression through her work has also only become more refined, sharpened and nuanced.

      "This just can't get more disturbing!" - Willow

      by myriad on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 05:41:14 PM PST

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      •  I'm with you ... (6+ / 0-)

        ... she's getting better all the time -- not easier, though.

        IMHO

        ... public service is a privilege. It's not about advantaging yourself, it's not about advancing your friends or your corporate clients.

        by MT Spaces on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 05:51:43 PM PST

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        •  no, not necessarily (5+ / 0-)

          but in all honesty I've always found Le Guin one of the easiest people to read. Best analogy I can give is that for my brain at least, she's like a long drink of sweet water on a hot day. I can never not stop reading her books, so I have to plan strategically before I start a new one!

          "This just can't get more disturbing!" - Willow

          by myriad on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 05:58:12 PM PST

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        •  Well, there's something sweet (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lirtydies, MT Spaces, Remain calm

          and free about her earlier stories that I miss in her later ones. I love "April in Paris," with all the societal misfits who somehow manage, through some preposterous spell, to find a place where they fit perfectly together. And I've laughed many times over "The Rule of Names," with its gloriously clumsy but well-meaning characters (brave but blushing Birt, and the dragon who tries to go vegetarian).

          There is much value in her later stories. But the magic (literal and figurative) is so heavily constrained that it's just not as much fun. I don't think of it as a case of better vs. worse, but I can certainly understand some people gravitating towards her earlier stuff.

          John McCain: no health insurance for kids.

          by AlanF on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 06:52:28 PM PST

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      •  Hear, hear (5+ / 0-)

        Ursula's late work has been some of her strongest. I agree with the recommendation of Changing Planes, which is her answer to Gulliver's Travels -- a wonderful work of Swiftian satire.

        I'd also point to The Birthday of the World -- a beautiful and thought-provoking collection of stories exploring gender and sexuality, and one of the best efforts of her entire career.

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