From the Archives: Ursula Le Guin in Conversation with Michael Krasny

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Ursula K. Le Guin attends 2014 National Book Awards on November 19, 2014 in New York City. (Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Ursula K. Le Guin, a novelist best known for her prolific output, including the Earthsea series and "The Left Hand of Darkness," died Monday. She was 88. In more than 20 novels and innumerable short stories, Le Guin used science fiction and fantasy to address some of Earth's toughest realities, including inequality. She was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 2014 National Book Awards, where she delivered a rousing, some might say, foretelling, speech.

"Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality."

Ursula spoke with Forum on Sept. 28, 2000. Here is that interview, published online for the first time.