content by

Matt Bell

My Le Guin Year: Craft Lessons From a Master

Every so often I set out to read as many books as I can by a single writer as I can in a single year. It’s the best way I know to do a deep dive into a major writer’s work, and to try to understand them in the context of their own career: I inevitably come to see what a writer excelled at from the start, what they had to learn as they went, and what they never got quite right; I become familiar with the ideas and topics and tropes they returned to most often, learning how their ideas and aesthetics changed over time. It’s a rewarding and engaging way to read, and every writer I’ve read this way has become a lifelong favorite, including Cormac McCarthy, Don DeLillo, Anne Carson, Toni Morrison, and, most recently, Ursula K. Le Guin.

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