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  • Kathy Shimpock

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018) - Fantasy is Reality

During these days of uncertainty, many women seek strong, positive, wise and vital examples of aging.  Fortunately, such role models exist. These women embody the character of the wise old woman archetype. Their lives provide inspiration and guidance for the darkest of days. Ursula K. Le Guin is one of these women. There are many more; we only have to open our eyes to see them.

Ursula Le Guin was a celebrated author whose body of work includes 23 novels, 12 volumes of short stories, 11 volumes of poetry, 13 children’s books, five essay collections, and four works of translation.  Her writings of speculative fiction cover themes of social and political issues. At the age of 81, Le Guin started a blog which later became essays in her book No Time to Spare. Throughout her work she continued to address issues of age, race and gender. For example,  "I’d like a poster showing two old people with stooped backs and arthritic hands and time-worn faces sitting talking, deep, deep in conversation. And the slogan would be: Old Age Is Not for the Young."

"Men call women faithless, changeable, and though they say it in jealousy of their own ever-threatened sexual honor, there is some truth in it.” Le Guin writes. “We can change our life, our being; no matter what our will is, we are changed. As the moon changes yet is one, so we are virgin, wife, mother, grandmother. For all their restlessness, men are who they are; once they put on the man's toga they will not change again; so they make a virtue of that rigidity and resist whatever might soften it and set them free."


  1. How does Le Guin’s work inspire you?

  2. Reflect on the different stages of your life. How have you been changed?

  3. What are you called to do in this stage of life?

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