Ursula K. Le Guin died Monday at the age of 88. Her books didn’t inspire a passionate fandom in me as a teen (unlike, say, Dune or Tolkein) but the more I read of her non-fiction the more impressed I am. It’s probably time to pick up the Earthsea trilogy again.

Margaret Atwood has a short piece in The Guardian in honor of her; I’d been saving this quote on aging and beauty (via Brainpickings, from her essay collection The Wave in The Mind) for a while, so here it is for today:

One rule of the game, in most times and places, is that it’s the young who are beautiful. The beauty ideal is always a youthful one. This is partly simple realism. The young are beautiful. The whole lot of ’em. The older I get, the more clearly I see that and enjoy it.
And yet I look at men and women my age and older, and their scalps and knuckles and spots and bulges, though various and interesting, don’t affect what I think of them. Some of these people I consider to be very beautiful, and others I don’t. For old people, beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young. It has to do with bones. It has to do with who the person is. More and more clearly it has to do with what shines through those gnarly faces and bodies.