The practical geography of always coming home

— David Bratman

26 April 2021 | Mythlore, Volume 39, № 2: Ursula K. Le Guin, 7

Ursula K. Le Guin is a fantasy writer focused on the detailed description of the locales of her stories, in particular Always Coming Home. In this she may be usefully compared and contrasted with Tolkien and other authors of fantasy of place. This article is particularly concerned with the geography of the Valley of the Na in Always Coming Home as a fictionalization of the Napa Valley. It describes in detail the maps in the book and their relationship with the primary world geography. It recounts, from fieldwork, what is to be found at the Kesh townsites in our primary-world geography, and where exactly they are located. Lastly, it notes that the maps only acquire importance and interest from their relationship with the story’s text.

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