Suzette Haden Elgin
American linguist, writer, educator, blogger
Suzette Haden Elgin
Suzette Haden Elgin is an American science fiction author. She founded the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and is considered an important figure in the field of science fiction constructed languages. Elgin is also a linguist; she publishes non-fiction, of which the best-known is the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense series. Born in 1936 in Missouri, Elgin attended the University of California, San Diego in the 1960s, and began writing science fiction in order to pay tuition.
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    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 78
    She died at the age of 78 in 2015.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1936
    Born
    Born in 1936 in Jefferson City, Missouri, Elgin attended the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the 1960s, and began writing science fiction in order to pay tuition.
    More Details Hide Details She gained a PhD in linguistics, and was the first UCSD student to ever write two dissertations (on English and Navajo). She created the engineered language Láadan for her Native Tongue science fiction series. A grammar and dictionary was published in 1985. She supported feminist science fiction, saying "women need to realize that SF is the only genre of literature in which it's possible for a writer to explore the question of what this world would be like if you could get rid of X, where X is filled in with any of the multitude of real world facts that constrain and oppress women. Women need to treasure and support science fiction." In addition, she published works of shorter fiction. Overlying themes in her work include feminism, linguistics and the impact of language, and peaceful coexistence with nature. Many of her works also draw from her Ozark background and heritage.
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