One of his five favorite fantasy novels, as told to Sophie Roell at The Browser:
A Wizard of EarthseaRead about the other novels on the list at The Browser.
by Ursula K Le Guin
It was published in 1968 and it was a revelation for fantasy readers, and possibly a revolution. In Le Guin’s work you can see a predominantly Christian, patriarchal, English tradition reinvented by a writer who was not only an American woman but a Taoist-atheist. (I like to think of the map of the archipelagic Earthsea as an image of a Middle Earth without a middle, as if it had been dropped and shattered.) Both Tolkien and Lewis were devout Christians, but Le Guin – who’s still alive and in her 80s – brought fantasy back to its pagan roots. She used as the foundations of her magic system and her story the building blocks of nature and sex and language.
Also see a top 10 list of fantasy books for children.
The Page 69 Test: Lev Grossman's The Magicians.