The Ursula K. Le Guin Trust today announced the Shortlist for the Inaugural Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction. The prize honors a book-length work of imaginative fiction with $25,000. The nine shortlisted books will be considered by a panel of five jurors—adrienne maree brown, Becky Chambers, Molly Gloss, David Mitchell, and Luis Alberto Urrea. The winner will be announced later this year on October 21, Ursula K. Le Guin’s birthday.
Here is the Shortlist for the 2022 Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction.
- After the Dragons by Cynthia Zhang (Stelliform Press)
- Appleseed by Matt Bell (Custom House)
- Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tordotcom Publishing)
- The Employees: A Workplace Novel of the 22nd Century by Olga Ravn, translated by Martin Aitken (New Directions)
- The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber (Graywolf Press)
- How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu (William Morrow)
- The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente (Tordotcom Publishing)
- A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
- Summer in the City of Roses by Michelle Ruiz Keil (Soho Teen)
The Prize will be given to a writer whose work reflects the concepts and ideas that are central to Le Guin’s own work, which include (but are not limited to) hope, equity, and freedom; non-violence and alternatives to conflict; and a holistic view of humanity’s place in the natural world.
Since Le Guin’s death in January, 2018, her son and literary executor, Theo Downes-Le Guin has been thinking of ways to honor his mother’s work, and share her art and ideas with a new generation of readers and writers. Downes-Le Guin acknowledged the challenge of designing a prize in honor of a writer who was outspokenly critical of them. And yet, a prize seemed a fitting legacy because, at the same time, Downes-Le Guin noted, “She certainly believed in giving money directly to writers, with no strings attached, for them to use however they wished to. To create the space and the opportunity to write.”
[Based on a press release.]