Ursula LeGuin, née Kroeber, was born to
Alfred and Theodora Kroeber, in Berkeley,
during 1929. Her father was an anthropologist,
credited with establishing anthropology in America.
His most famous work was with Ishi, last survivor of the Yahi.

Ursula's mother, Theodora, was a writer. Among other things, she wrote Ishi in Two Worlds, an account of her husband's work, which she published in 1960. Both Alfred and Theodora were highly intelligent and well educated. Ursula had three siblings; a brother, Karl, and two half-brothers from Theodora's first marriage, Theodore and Clifford.

Ursula grew up in an environment steeped with learning and literature. Two of her brothers became professors, one of history, the other of English. It is not surprising, given this environment, that she turned to the pen herself: her very first story was submitted to Amazing Stories at the age of eleven. It was rejected, but marked the beginning of a long and distinguished literary career. She has published dozens of short stories, some 20 or so novels, some essays, and goodness knows what else.

Her very best writing (in my humble opinion) was done in the three books of the EarthSea Trilogy. Originally intended as young adult literature, these sublimely written and deeply philosophical novels are too universal to be limited to a particular audience. These are fantasy novels; but not cheap sword-and-sorcery novels, oh no. The only author worthy to be called her peer is J. R. R. Tolkien. And I do mean peer: they are of equal skill, both masters of their craft. Each has a distinctive style. If they were potters, Ursula LeGuin would create delicately fluted vases, whereas Tolkien would shape the clay into even, solid bowls.

I love the EarthSea Trilogy so much that I got the name for my domain, Atuan, from the second book. And so, to honor her for her astonishing literary achievement, I felt I should include a short biography of her, and links to her books on Amazon so that all of my visitors can experience the magic for themselves.

A Wizard of EarthSea
The Tombs of Atuan
The Farthest Shore

These books, and many others she has written, are readily available at most libraries. Another classic of hers is The Left Hand of Darkness, a rather darker book which plays an important part in many college literature classes.

Atuan Interests
Active Worlds