SUE HUBBELL has this to say about herself.
"No expectations were laid on me as a child. After all, I was
a girl and no one expected much from little girls growing up in the
1930s in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In addition, I was an indifferent student
and whenever anyone did set out goals for me I became rattled and broke
out in rashes. Mine was a family of high-aspirers, but they gave up on
me, rather. I was left pretty much alone. I look at today's youngsters
with their enrichment programs, after-school lessons and activities,
busily building resumes so that they can get into Harvard and realize I
was given a wonderful gift--a happy childhood of my own making. I
didn't build much of a resume, but I did build a stable of racing
turtles. I climbed trees and sat in the tops of them for long, long
periods of time. I made exquisite little villages under an old pinoak
tree by the edge of a lake. I read a lot in a random sort of way. I
wondered a lot because the things I was most interested in seldom were
on teachers' agenda. And so I asked a lot of questions. Asking
questions wasn't a good preparation for any respectable career. By the
time I was an adult I was suited for only two kinds of work: being a
journalist or a biologist.
"I was neither, however. First I raised a son, which is
probably the best thing I ever did for today he is a good man, a good
father, and a fine writer. I was, successively, a book store manager, a
university librarian, and a commercial beekeeper. I enjoyed doing all
of those things.
"And then, accidentally, I became a writer and found I could go
on wondering about things and asking questions of people who had the
answers and that sober, serious editors would pay me to do it.
"In order to make a living I've had to ask questions about a lot
of things besides biology--I've committed my share of journalism--but my
books have been about biology, more or less. I writer biology for
English majors with curiosity.
"I'm 66 now and beginning the process of looking back over my
life, seeing if there were any patterns to it. It hasn't been a
dignified one, exactly, but, on the whole I've had a very good time."
Sue Hubbell is the author of A Book of Bees, A Country Year,
Broadsides from the Other Orders: A Book of Bugs, and Waiting for
Aphrodite. She was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, migrated to the Ozarks
of southern Missouri and now divides her time between Washington, D.C.,
and coastal Maine.
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