New Documentary Celebrates the Life of Ursula K. Le Guin

Arwen Curry’s 'The Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin' examines the impact of the Berkeley-born science fiction writer.


Photo courtesy of Arwen Curry

Ursula K. Le Guin was revolutionary for her time — the Berkeley-born writer was one of the first prominent women in the science fiction genre. Many of her novels, including The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and The Lathe of Heaven, are award-winning and considered classics.

As a woman entering the genre in the 1950s, Le Guin encountered her fair share of sexism for rejecting the hyper-masculinity dominating science fiction at the time. Her writing was expansive and fantastical, often depicting futuristic alternative worlds in politics, sexuality, gender, religion, and the natural environment.

Fellow East Bay native Arwen Curry’s new documentary, The Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, celebrates her life and lasting influence on American literature. Curry first approached Le Guin with the idea for her documentary in 2003, and forged a close connection with the writer over the 10 years it took to complete the film. Le Guin, who died in January at the age of 88, never got to see the final version. But you can: The New Parkway is holding a screening of the documentary co-presented by the Berkeley FILM Foundation, complete with a post-film Q&A.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, Tue., Dec. 4, 7-10 p.m., $10-$12, The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St., Oakland,