2004 Margaret A. Edwards Award Winner


photo by Marian Wood Kolish

Ursula K. Le Guin is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her lifetime contribution to young adult readers.  The award was announced Monday, January 12, during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

Le Guin's works continue to find young adult enthusiasts for "A Wizard of Earthsea," originally published in 1968, now published by Bantam Spectra (a division of Random House); and its sequels, "The Tombs of Atuan" (1971); "The Farthest Shore" (1972); and "Tehanu," (1990) all published by Simon Pulse (pb) and Atheneum (hc) both imprints of Simon & Schuster.

"The Left Hand of Darkness," an Ace Book published by the Berkley Publishing Group (a Division of Penguin Group USA Inc.) in 1969, and "The Beginning Place," (1980) currently published by Tor, also have demonstrated staying power among young adult readers.

"In her writing, as in her life, Ms. Le Guin takes on issues arising from the effort to live humanely in the natural world, exploring the tension between individuality and social norms," said Award Committee Chair Francisca Goldsmith.  "In the Earthsea fantasy series, young protagonists mature not only physically, but also spiritually, as Ms. LeGuin's real world readers must in order to navigate young adulthood.

"A fantasy writer and social activist since her youth, she has inspired four generations of young adults to read beautifully constructed language, visit fantasy worlds that inform them about their own lives, and think about their ideas that are neither easy nor inconsequential," she added.

Le Guin lives in Portland, Ore., where she continues to write and speak out for the political and artistic freedom all writers and readers hope to enjoy.

The Margaret A. Edwards Award is sponsored by School Library Journal and administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).  Le Guin will receive $2,000 at the Margaret A. Edwards Award Luncheon during the ALA's Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., June 24-30.

YALSA is a division of the ALA.

Members of the 2004 Edwards Committee are:  Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley, Calif.; Deborah Y. Carton, Albany, Calif.; Helma Hawkins, Kansas City, Mo.; Ranae Pierce, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Nancy Reich, Granada Hills, Calif.

To hear and read speeches of previous winners visit the For Members Only section of the YALSA website. (In .pdf in the For Members Only section.)


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