Ursula K. Le Guin and James Salter

51mqlEfbrGL._SX331_BO1 204 203 200_Michael Dirda at the Washington Post:

“No Time to Spare” and “Don’t Save Anything” collect, respectively, the recent essays and the freelance journalism of two distinguished, but very different American writers. There are, however, at least three reasons to link Ursula K. Le Guin, an outspoken feminist and award-winning creator of imaginary lands and ambiguous utopias, and James Salter, the courtly chronicler of fighter pilots, intense love affairs and dissolving marriages.

First, each writes fiction of wondrous serenity and authority. Just consider the opening paragraphs of Le Guin’s “A Wizard of Earthsea” or the final one of Salter’s “A Sport and a Pastime.” The language is limpid, the sentences deliberate and grave, their cumulative power . . . immeasurable. Go see for yourself.

Second, both Salter and Le Guin are moralists. Courage and heroism, the testing of character, doing the right thing, the acceptance of responsibility, the getting of wisdom — these themes run through all their writing.

more here.