Le Guin #2

The second tribute I wrote for Le Guin appears here, in _Another Chicago Magazine_.

“The only time I met Ursula K. Le Guin, she was mean to me.

Not really.

She was a little sharp, though, acerbic, which I gather was not uncommon for her. I was a young writer, halfway through an MFA at Mills College, attending a reading in Berkeley given by my literary hero. I had gathered up all my courage to ask a question. I’d spent a few years writing and publishing explicitly about sex, fighting through my own hesitations and society’s disapproval – my parents were tremendously upset with me for writing under my own name, another writer at a writer’s gathering accused me of being a nymphomaniac, and I even received hate mail from men in India, furious that one of their women was writing about sex.

Of course, Le Guin was writing daring stories decades before me, stories of women who loved women, of four-person marriages, of people without gender. Her stories offered possibilities that most of society hadn’t even imagined in the late 1960s; I knew she must have faced similar societal disapproval….”

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