Raft of Earthsea Articles on TOR.com this month


Here's some food fort thought ahead of our upcoming reading of The Tombs of Atuan in (probably) February. Three Earthsea articles published in Tor.com's newsletter:

Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Tombs of Atuan Taught Me to Write Imperfect Women by Jenn Lyons

Tenar, or Arha, the young priestess of dark gods, She Who Is Eaten, was willful and disobedient, guilt-ridden, and—blasphemously, heretically—often wrong. She had been lied to by her elders, fed on a legacy of hate and power sold to her as righteousness and justice. She was not perfect, and while she was protected, her guardians and rivals also acted as her jailers. She was wonderfully, perfectly unreliable, the drive of the story rising through her own gradual challenging of her beliefs, her heartbreak and outrage at discovering that the adults in her life were hypocrites, just as fallible and mortal as herself. Even Ged. Maybe especially Ged.

How A Wizard of Earthsea Made Me a Fantasy Reader by Molly Templeton

I grew up when kids still ran off into the woods and didn’t come back until dinner—a singular whistle from my stepfather would call me back through the trees—and I had my own mental fantasy map made up of deer-trails and a distant glimpse of a nearby lake seen from the top of a ridge.

Earthsea let me map what little I knew of our world onto a different world, and in doing that, it made my world bigger.

How Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea Subverts Racism (But Not Sexism) by Gabrielle Bellot

A Wizard of Earthsea can’t be praised for its depiction of women. To her credit, Le Guin was aware of this failing. She chides fantasy of Earthsea’s era for having women—if women were present at all—who were usually merely “a passive object of desire and rescue (a beautiful blond princes); active women (dark witches),” she continued, “usually caused destruction or tragedy. Anyway, the stories weren’t about the women. They were about men, what men did, and what was important to men.”


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