Ursula LeGuin Gives Moving National Book Awards Speech
"Truth is a matter of the imagination." That's a quote from the Left Hand of Darkness, a classic of science fiction, that I've had up on my website for years.
In receiving a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the recent National Book Awards ceremony (Neil Gaiman presented the award to her), science fiction and literary titan Ursula K. LeGuin gave a moving and heartfelt speech that began by celebrating SF and fantasy and all of its writers, and went on to criticize the trend among publishers and mega-sellers of treating books as commodity, instead of art with an intrinsic value to society that goes beyond dollars. She lit pretty well into Amazon for their recent battle with Hachette, with authors caught in the middle. (For the record, I don’t altogether agree with her assessment of that situation, in which I think the publisher was at least as much at fault. But then, who am I to argue with Ursula LeGuin?)
I certainly appreciated, and was touched by, her saying that she shares this award with all writers of speculative fiction. Ms. LeGuin, by the way, is a founding member of Book View Café.