Suzette Haden Elgin: Biography

Suzette Haden Elgin

18 nov 1936

Considered as one of the giants of feminist science fiction, Suzette Haden Elgin was also a pioneer to use linguistics in such a genre. Her educational background came in handy for her writing career. Born in Missouri on Nov 8, 1936, Suzette graduated in the Linguistics Department at the University of California San Diego and she was the only student who wrote two dissertations. This accomplishment fetched her job of a linguistics teacher in the same university which she served till her retirement in 1980.

Suzette started writing science fiction novels to pay her tuition bills. In fact she had to put in a lot of effort to take her life forward since she was widowed, got married again and had five children to take care of. During that period, taking care of children and studying was not an easy task for any female. But Suzette did a PhD in Linguistics.

“The Communipaths” was Suzette’s first novel which got published in 1970 as half of an ‘ACE double’ and this was the start of her Coyote Jone Series. ‘The Ozark Trilogy’ followed. Suzette has also written three novels in her Native Tongue Series. ‘The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense’ and its sequels portrayed Suzette’s talent in non-fiction. She also wrote a verbal self-defense science fiction novel by name ‘Peacetalk 101’ which brought her much fame.

Suzette Elgin, the founder of Science Fiction Poetry Association died at the age of 78 from undisclosed causes. According to her, women need to treasure and support science fiction and that’s exactly what she did. Her Ozark background and heritage resembles in most of her works.