National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea

by Ursula K. Le Guin

To me a novel can be as beautiful as any symphony, as beautiful as the sea.

This Reader's Guide was written by Michael Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize–winning critic who writes frequently about fantasy, science fiction, and children's books. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Cornell University and is the author of the memoir An Open Book (2003) and of four collections of essays: Readings (2000), Bound to Please (2005), Book by Book (2006), and Classics for Pleasure (2007). His recent work includes On Conan Doyle (2012).

Works Cited

Excerpts from A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA by Ursula K. Le Guin. Copyright © 1968, 1996 by The Inter-Vivos Trust for the Le Guin Children. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2004.

Works Consulted

Bucknall, Barbara J. Ursula K. Le Guin. New York: Ungar, 1981.

Cummins, Elizabeth. Understanding Ursula K. Le Guin. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1990.

Oziewicz, Marek. "Prolegomena to Mythopoeic Fantasy." The Chesterton Review XXXI, (3 & 4). South Orange: Seton Hall University, 2005.

Spivack, Charlotte. Ursula K. Le Guin. Boston: Twayne, 1984.

Storr, Anthony, ed. The Essential Jung. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983.

Tolkien, J. R .R. "On Fairy–Stories." Tree and Leaf. London: Allen and Unwin, 1964.

Waggoner, Diana. The Hills of Faraway: A Guide to Fantasy. New York: Atheneum, 1978.


Writer: Michael Dirda for the National Endowment for the Arts

Series Editor: Erika Koss for the National Endowment for the Arts

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