Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000–2016, with A Journal of a Writer's Week

Words Are My Matter Writings About Life and Books with A Journal of a Writer s Week Praise for Ursula K Le Guin I read her nonstop growing up and read her still What makes her so extraordinary for me is that her commitment to the consequences of our actions of our all too human frai

  • Title: Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000–2016, with A Journal of a Writer's Week
  • Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • ISBN: 9781618731340
  • Page: 335
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Praise for Ursula K Le Guin I read her nonstop growing up and read her still What makes her so extraordinary for me is that her commitment to the consequences of our actions, of our all too human frailties, is unflinching and almost without precedent for a writer of such human optimism Junot Diaz A lot of her work is about telling stories, and what it means to tell stPraise for Ursula K Le Guin I read her nonstop growing up and read her still What makes her so extraordinary for me is that her commitment to the consequences of our actions, of our all too human frailties, is unflinching and almost without precedent for a writer of such human optimism Junot Diaz A lot of her work is about telling stories, and what it means to tell stories, and what stories look like She s been extremely influential on me in that area of what I, as a beginning writer, thought a story must look like, and the much expan sive view I have now of what a story can be and can do Karen Joy Fowler She was and remains a central figure for me Michael ChabonUrsula K Le Guin is one of our foremost public literary intellectuals and this collection of her recent talks, essays, introductions, and book reviews is the best manual we have for traveling the worlds explored in recent fiction the most useful guide to the country we re visiting, life.Ursula K Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, in 1929 Among her honors are the National Book Foundation s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a National Book Award, the Hugo, Nebula, and Kafka awards, a Pushcart Prize, and the Harold D Vursell Me morial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters She lives in Portland, Ore gon.

    One thought on “Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000–2016, with A Journal of a Writer's Week”

    1. Nonfiction nom for the 2017 Hugos, this collection of essays and book reviews are good for what they are, being honest and rooted very firmly in Le Guin's mindset and fierce defense of Science Fiction in general.Hell, I was rooting for the same points the entire time! Mainstream Lit-fiction stealing old and traditional SF ideas and then having the nerve to say it's not SF and has nothing to do with it, all the while thumbing its nose at a long tradition is NOT COOL, yo. Give credit where credit [...]

    2. I respect Le Guin as an imaginative writer, feminist rule-bender, and wise crone, but I ended up skimming and skipping through many of these essays and book reviews once their sameness became apparent. I don't feel guilty about that, and she'd probably not care about my "skim and gobble" reading (as she calls it), particularly if her own disclaimers and ambivalence about writing nonfiction are truthful. Le Guin is the great defender of the science fiction genre, of course, and that is a recurrin [...]

    3. 4.5 starsI do absolutely love reading Le Guin's critical work. I had no idea she wrote book reviews, so that entire section in this collection was wonderful. She makes me want to read H.G. Wells and Jose Saramago, which I never thought I'd say!

    4. Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy BooksThe collection is organized into sections: “Talks, Essays, and Occasional Pieces,” “Book Introductions and Notes on Writers,” “Book Reviews,” and “The Hope of Rabbits: A Journal of a Writer’s Week.” The last section, the journal of a week, is about a week she spent at a retreat for women who are artists.While I enjoyed everything in the book, the most electric section is “Talks, Essays, and Occasional Pieces.” When Le Guin speaks, s [...]

    5. While not being in any way autobiographical, this book gives surprising insight into Ursula K. Le Guin as a person. I like her very much. I especially liked the tentative modesty of her introduction to this rag-tag collection of essays, speeches, introductions, book reviews, and diary excerpts. She's keen to assert that she's no non-fiction writer, and doubts both her skill and her subject matter. I find her non-fiction to be skillful in just the way that her fiction is: surgically precise and u [...]

    6. “Listening is an act of community, which requires space, time, and silence. Reading is a means of listening.”I wanted to like this book because I respect Le Guin as an author and a person, but two stars was a gift. This drivel seems tossed together to justify the selling price. It won awards perhaps because it says all the right things. Or it was her turn. (Good heavens, this was nominated for a 2017 Hugo. That being a popularity contest, folks will vote for it without reading it.)“There s [...]

    7. This is a difficult book to review because it is not what I was hoping it would be. It provided a few gems of insight and I am grateful for them. I am delighted to have finally picked up a book by Ursula Le Guin and, frankly, it was an unusual first book to use as an introduction to her work. I started reading it a few days before she died and intend to read something else by her. There are two primary sections to this book. The first I'll put into the category of discussions of genre and the pu [...]

    8. Ursula Le Guin is fluent in fiction (short, long, and children's), poetry, drama, and nonfiction, but she notes in the foreword to this, her 2016 nonfiction collection: "Writing fiction or poetry is natural to me. I do it, want to do it, am fulfilled in doing it, the way a dancer dances or a tree grows. . . . Writing talks or essays, however, is always more like doing schoolwork. It's going to be assessed for style and content, and rightly so. Nobody knows better than I do what my stories are ab [...]

    9. It's great to know that you can both agree and disagree with one of your favorite authors. This collection, I think, made me understand LeGuin better, and then be able to go on and do my own thing with my fiction. What does it say of me if I feel a little like exorcising a ghost?

    10. I seldom have as much pleasure in reading nonfiction as I do in a poem or a story. I can admire a well-made essay, but I’d rather follow a narrative than a thought.With that somewhat odd opening sentence Ursula LeGuin introduces this new collection of her essays, reviews, public talks, and other occasional pieces. A few pages later she is even more to the point.When it comes to sustained abstract thought, my attention span is slightly above that of a spaniel.She says she struggles with her non [...]

    11. Ursula K. Le Guin has moved from the fringes of sci fi to the mainstream of literary fiction, finally garnering the respect that she deserves. This collection of essays and reviews, while in places repetitive, gives the reader some of the nuts-and-bolts of Le Guin's thinking, and is beautifully written and often breathtakingly insightful. It isn't the same as reading her regular stories and novels, or any other kind of novel, as it is all nonfiction essays, with very little that could be called [...]

    12. What a joy it is to read anything by Ursula Le Guin. In this instance, the "anything" is a collection of non-fiction writing - occasional pieces, book reviews, forewords to other people's books, essays on writing and writers and life. Given the somewhat lengthy title and subtitle of Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000–2016 with A Journal of a Writer’s Week, this collection is a smorgasbord of delights from one of the finest writers and clearest thinkers of our time.The e [...]

    13. Le Guin herself says in the first pages of this collection that she greatly prefers fiction to nonfiction and I often tend to agree, which means I was already primed not to enjoy this collection as much as her recent fiction collections. She's such a wonderful writer though that even though for me this never caught my interest as strongly as her fiction it was still nothing but a joy to read.The book is divided into four general sections: the first a collection of talks and essays covering a var [...]

    14. It isn't quite right to say I "read" this book as I mostly poked around and read bits that looked like they may interest me. I found quite a few great lines I will copy out as quotes. The collection includes the text of talks given, essays, book notes and book reviews. Of the book reviews, I read and completely agreed with her review of When the Killings Done by T.C. Boyle. Some of the thoughts on page 48 (Teasing Myself Out of Thought) were pertinent to a workshop on freewriting I am taking off [...]

    15. I found this to be a varied and interesting collection of short pieces, most of which caught and kept my attention quite well. The author certainly is able to shape with words, and has an excellent feel for which ones to call upon in a given commentary. One of my favorites was the piece on Sylvia Townsend Warner, which, despite its brevity, brought her to life for me. The piece "What It Was Like" was moving in a way I didn't expect, and brought home the point most effectively. While I tend to ag [...]

    16. Le Guin continues to prove herself one of the most insightful writers in the field, being just as sharp and fascinating in the 21st Century as she was in the 20th Century.I do feel some of the book reviews are a little to heavy on authorial history and not enough about the actual content but that is more a reflection of personal taste.Recommended for anyone who wants witty and thoughtful insight into the state of fantastic fiction and indeed the world today

    17. -What It Was Like-Genre: A Word only a Frenchman Could Love-What Women Know-Disappearing Grandmothers (ESPECIALLY DISAPPEARING GRANDMOTHERS)All of these are must-read essays IMO.

    18. I was most interested in the essays / talks on writing at the beginning of the book, a bit less in the introductions / book reviews later on, but it's all absolute gold from an absolute master.

    19. Pretty much required reading for UKL fans, although you can count on being annoyed from time to time, which is probably her intention. Best read a bit at a time, or that's how I did. Now it's due back, and I didn't quite finish. That's OK -- I'll get it out again, later.The essay that's pretty much worth the price of the book is "A Report, by Ansible, from Tau Ceti": her reactions to critical reactions to her work, especially academic crits: For anyone who's been driven "slightly lunatic" by for [...]

    20. "The book itself is a curious artifact, not showy in its technology but complex and extremely efficient: a really neat little device, compact, often very pleasant to look at and handle, that can last decades, even centuries. It doesn't have to be plugged in, activated, or performed by a machine; all it needs is light, a human eye, and a human mind. It is not one of a kind, and it is not ephemeral. It lasts. It is reliable. If a book told you something when you were fifteen, it will tell it to yo [...]

    21. Chiefly divided into three parts: essays and speeches, book introductions, and book reviews. Much of your enjoyment of this book will hinge upon your familiarity with the works under discussion.I recommend looking at the table of contents before you buy:smallbeerpress/books/2016/

    22. Li ano passado o excelente Words are My Matter - tendo traduzido o primeiro texto da coletânea, Manual de Instruções, para o blog -, que junta introduções e resenhas de livros, além de ensaios, todos produzidos entre 2000 e 2016. Neles, Le Guin escreve de forma clara, apaixonada e bem humorada, mas também bastante incisiva quando necessário. Ela também não poupa críticas quando essas são necessárias, e nem foge de temas espinhos, abraçando a bandeira do feminismo e da tolerância. [...]

    23. There was a time I couldn't wait for a new Ursula Le Guin novel. I have continued to buy most of her books and have generally appreciated her art and thought. Her science fiction was always the best. This is a collection of essays about life and art, many of them talks that she has given over the last 10 years. What I enjoyed most is her book reviews. She gave me a new list of books to read and reviewed some of my favorite authors: Kent Haruf, Barbara Kingsolver, George MacDonald, and Margaret A [...]

    24. Das Buch enthält Essays, Gedanken, Bucheinleitungen und -besprechungen, die Ursula K. LeGuin seit 2000 geschrieben hat. Vieles davon, aber nicht Alles, beschäftigt sich mit Science Fiction bzw. Fantasy, manches allgemein mit Literatur, Feminismus, dem Buchmarkt und anderem mehr.Immer wieder thematisiert sie das Problem, dass Genreliteratur (SF, Fantasy) von der allgemeinen Literaturkritik nicht gewürdigt wird, ein Problem, dass wir in Deutschland, wo man gerne zwischen U(nterhaltungs) und E(r [...]

    25. Collection of essays/speeches, critical introductions, and book reviews. I read a piece or two at a time, in between other things, which is not my favorite way to read, but necessary when the pieces were either covering similar ground or not overtly linked. Still, I appreciated Le Guin's attentive thoughtfulness. One of my favorite passages came from the introduction she wrote for H. L. Davis's The Honey in the Horn: For all its vivid, vigorous language, its dry, teasing humor, its grand scenery [...]

    26. According to my experience it is best to pick up this compilation of non-fiction texts after some of Ursula K. Le Guin’s fictional works, but before reading the majority of them. Because the novels and the work put into them will turn a lot more interesting when the reader knows that the author has more layers of ideas to transmit through her writing than apparent, and it might help to realise in which way she has traced them into her stories. Oppositely, getting into the pages of this book kn [...]

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