Subscribe to Between the Covers:
Today’s “Crafting with Ursula,” a conversation with nature writer Isaac Yuen, explores Le Guin’s writing of the nonhuman other in her fiction. Why might we consider decentering the human within our stories and how do we do so? How does one evoke a truly alien intelligence (i.e. that of a plant or an insect) but using human language for a human readership? Looking closely at three of Le Guin’s short fictions, “The Direction of the Road,” “Bones of the Earth,” and “The Author of the Acacia Seeds and Other Extracts from the Journal of Therolinguistics,” Isaac and David discuss the various strategies Le Guin uses to evoke a world that is more than human, and that stretches past human comprehension. We place these stories alongside stories and essays of Isaac’s to find the ways Le Guin and Yuen’s work speak one to another.
This episode’s Bookshop contains all the Le Guin books mentioned in today’s conversation along with Yuen’s favorite touchstone books of nature writing in both fiction and nonfiction.
If you enjoyed today’s conversation, consider becoming a supporter of the show. Check out all the potential benefits and rewards, including Le Guin collectibles, bonus audio from iconic SFF guests, and more at the Between the Covers Patreon page.