I first stumbled upon Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea Trilogy in the library at my middle school. That library was both my refuge from reality and a launchpad into new worlds. We had a decent-sized collection, but there were a few tall metal carousels that housed the sci-fi and fantasy books, and these were my first stop every time I walked into that room. They introduced me to some of the authors I still aspire to write like today.
Earthsea was among my very first tastes of fantasy, and it blew my mind. (Of the trilogy, I think my favorite is the second book, The Tombs of Atuan, but the entire series is achingly well told.)
So I was thrilled to hear that Ursula K. Le Guin was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 65th National Book Awards on November 19, 2014. (Her acceptance speech is amazing–if you have a few moments I highly recommend watching it here.)
Congratulations on the recognition, and thank you for the stories, Ms. Le Guin.