New stamp honors science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin

New stamp honors science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin

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A new stamp honors science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin.

The groundbreaking science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin, who novelist Michael Chabon called “the greatest American writer of her generation,” is being honored with a postage stamp.

Le Guin, known for her pioneering and genre-bending scifi, fantasy and speculative fiction works, was honored with the 33rd Forever stamp in the U.S. Postal Service’s Literary Arts series.

“Ursula once said she wanted to see science fiction step over the old walls of convention and hit right into the next wall — and start to break it down, too,” said Joseph Corbett, U.S. Postal Service chief financial officer and executive vice president. “She felt the ideas represented in her fiction could help people become more aware of other ways to do things, other ways to be and to help people wake up.”

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The stamp features a portrait of Le Guin that’s based on a photograph of her from 2006. Designed by Donato Gionacola, it includes Le Guin’s name at the bottom and a background that references her book “The Left Hand of Darkness.”

“Le Guin is credited with championing the literary and artistic value of science fiction and fantasy, as well as encouraging more women to write and read fiction in both genres. At the same time, she inspired many readers and writers of color by placing nonwhite characters at the center of her work and by tackling issues of racial injustice and colonialism in nuanced ways. Through lifelong interests in mythology, anthropology, feminism and Taoism, as well as through her wide-ranging translations, essays, poetry and nonfiction, Le Guin demonstrated that no writer needed to be limited by the boundaries of any genre,” the U.S. Postal Service said in a press release.

The graduate of Radcliffe and Columbia universities, a native of Berkeley, California, started publishing her literary work in the 1960s. She went on to earn much acclaim, including being named a Living Legend by the U.S. Library of Congress and a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She also has received eight Hugo Awards, six Nebula Awards and a National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

“Le Guin’s writings were markedly ahead of the times. In 1969, she published ‘The Left Hand of Darkness,’ a novel about an Earth diplomat named Genly Ai, who journeys to a wintry planet where two nations teeter on the brink of war — and where the inhabitants have no fixed gender most of the time. The book, which won the Hugo and Nebula awards in science fiction and fantasy, broke new ground and was often praised as the novel that permanently raised the literary expectations for science fiction,” the USPS said in a press release. 

The stamps can be ordered by visiting usps.com/shopstamps or calling 844-737-7826.

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