I first read Ursula Le Guin when I was about 11. The book: A Wizard of Earthsea. I was convinced I was Ged. I also believed (not quite sure why) that Ursula Le Guin was a writer from the dim and distant past. Imagine my surprise, many years later, seeing her looking hale and hearty at a reading in Portland.
A Wizard of Earthsea still ranks as one of my favorite books. And Ursula Le Guin, the grande dame of Portland letters, is still going strong, battling Google. Here's a great piece on her written last week by Jeff Baker, the literary critic for The Oregonian: