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Ursula K. Le Guin in 2008
Ursula K. Le Guin

American author Ursula K. Le Guin wrote speculative fiction, realistic fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, librettos, essays, poetry, speeches, translations, literary critiques, chapbooks, and children's fiction. She was primarily known for her works of speculative fiction. These include works set in the fictional world of Earthsea, stories in the Hainish Cycle, standalone novels and short stories. Le Guin came to critical attention with the publication of A Wizard of Earthsea in 1968, and The Left Hand of Darkness in 1969. The Earthsea books, of which A Wizard of Earthsea was the first, have been described as Le Guin's best work by several commentators, while scholar Charlotte Spivack described The Left Hand of Darkness as having established Le Guin's reputation as a writer of science fiction. Le Guin's first published work was the poem "Folksong from the Montayna Province" in 1959, while her first short story was "An die Musik", in 1961; both were set in her fictional country of Orsinia. Her first professional publication was the short story "April in Paris" in 1962, while her first published novel was Rocannon's World, released by Ace Books in 1966. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels

Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels is an oil-on-wood painting by the Dutch artist Clara Peeters, dated around 1615. Peeters specialised in still life pictures featuring beautiful objects, delicious fruits and expensive food. This type of still life is called banketje (banquet) in Dutch. In addition to the objects named in the title there are also curls of butter, figs and a bread roll. In the background is a gold-plated Venetian glass. The almonds and figs are lying in a dish of Chinese Wanli porcelain. The painting is in the permanent collection of the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.

Painting: Clara Peeters

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