According to a friend of Suzette Haden Elgin, Elgin has become disabled and will be unable to return to blogging. Reading between the lines, I suspect her writing career is over as well.
This is tremendously sad news. Suzette Haden Elgin was one of the first writer–bloggers I started reading. Her voice was distinct and distinguished, and she was always irrepressibly herself, no matter what the topic: writing, finding new ways to be published and read, languages and linguistics, feminism, health, poverty, peace. She founded the Science Fiction Poetry Association; she helped countless people defuse and escape difficult situations with her book The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense; she wrote linguistic SF, most notably the Native Tongue trilogy, that both linguists and laypeople could enjoy and appreciate.
Elgin is now 75 years old, and I think she has been having health trouble and other difficulties for some time. In early 2009 she combined her three newsletters into one; last December she stopped sending out newsletters altogether. Six months ago she said that she was rewriting her latest novel, start to finish, in longhand, as she recently had to give up her ancient computer and couldn’t get the hang of working in Word. Perhaps it was predictable and inevitable that even brief blog updates would become too difficult for her—but that doesn’t make it any less awful.
I’m grateful that Stephen Marsh tracked her down and spread the word. I hope Elgin is comfortable and happy. And I will miss her earthy, serious, wise words more than I can say.