“People always say, ‘When did you decide to be a writer?’ And I never wanted to be a writer. I just wrote.” That’s Ursula K. Le Guin, speaking in a clip from Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, an in-progress documentary about the award-winning science fiction and fantasy author. Filmmaker Arwen Curry’s been working on the project for seven years, and is now turning to crowdfunding to help complete it.
Check out the Kickstarter page and video here, which features Michael Chabon and Margaret Atwood singing the praises of the 86-year-old author of The Lathe of Heaven, the Earthsea series, and many more. Here’s what Curry writes about her project:
In the film, we’ll accompany Le Guin on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author, inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way. To tell this story, the film reaches into the past as well as the future – to a childhood steeped in the myths and stories of disappeared Native peoples Le Guin absorbed as the daughter of prominent California anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and author Theodora Kroeber.
Le Guin’s story allows audiences to reflect on science fiction’s unique role in American culture, as a conduit for our utopian dreams, apocalyptic fears, and tempestuous romance with technology. More than ever, we need to perform the kinds of thought experiments that Le Guin pioneered, to ask how we should behave as our technologies transform us beyond the wildest dreams of our grandparents.
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, which will run about an hour long, is currently trying to raise funds to unlock a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The campaign just began today and runs through March 4. The donor perks are pretty sweet, too—everything from signed books to a covetable tote bag decorated with Le Guin’s hand-drawn map of the world of Earthsea.
Both images courtesy of Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin