Dear Ms. Le Guin, I Have a Few Questions

Dear Ms. Le Guin,

I am a student at the University of Oregon currently taking the Feminism and Science Fiction class and thus feel I should tell you that I have been looking through the correspondences and papers you have given to the Special Collections. It is with strange yet compelling intrigue that I read your letters and it leaves me feeling oddly thrilled at my sneaky and stalker-ish method of gaining information (In my defense, I do believe that it is everyone’s desire to learn about the daily, private lives of others). I must admit I had never read any of your work before this class, but since the start of term I have had the pleasure of learning what an amazing writer you are, your informal communications being just as well written as your short stories and novellas (your novels have been put on my ever growing list of books to read once the term ends).

Well, now that I’ve gotten through the disclaimer and fan section of this letter, the reason behind my archival snooping has been for a research paper I am working on that looks at how you have been influenced by the environmental movement. I know you grew up in Berkeley and have lived most of your life in Portland and thus have seen the growth of environmental awareness. Several of your works have an environmental aspect to them (The Word for World is Forest) as well as an anarchist feature (The Dispossessed) and I know you are involved with environmental groups and have also been in contact with anarchists. I was wondering if you could tell me a little about how you felt the environmental movement has influenced you and your writing? What major concepts and ideas do you identify with and have you incorporated into you work? Oregon has a history of people tree-sitting and blocking roads in an effort to protect the environment and I was wondering if you ever participated in any such events (I know you have been a part of numerous protest marches) as well as how you felt about the anarchist-environmental feelings that were sometimes quite strong in the Northwest.

Thank you for taking for your time and I’m excited to hear you at the symposium/talk this Friday.


Eliza Pearce

PS. My dad, unlike me, apparently read all of your books when he was younger and is ecstatic that I am studying and researching you for this class. He told me to tell you that the science fiction concepts in your books were a big influence in his life.

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