Full communism and free pickles - life lessons from Ursula K Le Guin

Jane Charlesworth

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This year we lost Ursula K Le Guin, a writer whose work began to shape my worldview when I first read her Earthsea books as a child. Here I attempt to pay tribute to the many ways Le Guin's work continued to change my life and discuss with examples how her writing has challenged and informed me as a reader, writer, scholar and activist, how she used the tools of science fiction and fantasy to great effect to inspire us to look at and describe the very real societies in which we live and where you might want to start if you are new to her work. There may be free pickles and almost certainly there will be spoilers (I would advise attendees to read Those Who Walk Away From Omelas as preparation: http://www.mccc.edu/pdf/eng102/Week%209/Text_LeGuin%20Ursula_Ones%20Who%20Walk%20Away%20From%20Omelas.pdf).