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Ursula K. Le Guin and “the walk away from Omelas”

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

The world lost one of the greats on Monday, January 22nd. Ursula K. Le Guin passed away at the age of 88 and left a hole in many hearts around the world.

“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” We use this short, short story as a jumping off point to discuss our mutual love of Ursula K. Le Guin, science fiction/fantasy, and how reading shaped our lives. Omelas is the city of happiness, what does it mean to travel to the city of happiness? Why doesn’t everyone live there? Why would you walk away? What is the social contract? What will we do with no more words from the great Le Guin?

Featuring: Aubrey Hicks (@AubreyHi), Lisa Schweitzer (@drschweitzer), and David Sloane (@dcsloane53)


To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of the “Ursuala K. Le Guin and the walk away from Omelas” episode click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, Google Play, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting app!

Links & further immersion:

Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery
The Influence Of Ursula K. Le Guin,” Petra Mayer for NPR
Cities in Flight, James Blish
The fantasy and science fiction community pays tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin,” Andrew Liptack for The Verge
The Work of Le Guin
Behind the Lens: The Town That Had No Library,” David Kidd in Governing
R.I.P. Ursula K. Le Guin, Author of One of the Greatest Novels About Freedom Ever Written: How libertarians learned to stop worrying and love The Dispossessed,” Victoria Varga for Reason
The Category-Defying Genius of Ursula K. Le Guin,” John Wray in The New York Times
Ten Things I Learned from Ursula K. Le Guin,” Karen Jay Fowler in The Paris Review


Next Month …

Grann, documents the story of the Osage being forced to relocate to a region which later was discovered to be rich in oil. Learn how the U.S. and local governmental agencies and individuals took advantage by manipulating the “laws,” creating polices, and murder to control both the Osage and the wealth created by the oil discovery. We learn about the local investigation and how the newly formed FBI took over the investigation.
Read along with us! Let us know what you think of the book & our podcasts on Facebook or Twitter.

This podcast was produced by Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz, recorded and mixed by The Brothers Hedden, Ryan and Corey Hedden.

Bedrosian Center