Hubbell, Sue (1935 - )

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1935, Sue Hubbell attended Swarthmore College and the University of Michigan before receiving her A.B. in journalism from the University of Southern California in 1956. She also earned an M.S. from Drexel Institute in 1963.

She has been a book store manager, an elementary school librarian, and was also employed as a librarian by Trenton State College, Trenton, NJ, and by Brown University, Providence, RI. Her brother, Bil Gilbert, is also a prolific naturalist author.

In 1973, Hubbell and her first husband, Paul Hubbell, both of whom were anti-war activists, made the decision to leave their positions at Brown and the University of Rhode Island and significantly reduce their incomes so they would not be contributing taxes to the war effort. For a year they and their son Brian traveled around the country before deciding to purchase land in Missouri where they became commercial beekeepers. When she and her husband divorced after 30 years of marriage, Hubbell continued the honey business alone.

To supplement her income, Hubbell wrote articles for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Thirty-three of the articles were later published in On This Hilltop (1991). In an interview in the January 1996 Missouri Conservationist Magazine Online, Hubbell speaks about life on her farm and about writing Country Year: Living the Questions (1986), which brought her immediate attention from both book critics and general readers. The book, considered an American natural history classic, remains in print in a variety of editions.

At the time of the Missouri Conservationist interview, Hubbell was spending part of her time in Missouri and the rest of her time in Washington, D.C., where her second husband, [Frank] Arne Sieverts, worked for the international Committee of the Red Cross. Hubbell has since sold the Missouri farm and purchased a house in a small Maine coastal town. Just as she never revealed where she lived in Missouri, Hubbell will not tell where her Maine home is located as she does not want her house to become a tourist attraction. Her second husband died in April 2004.

Hubbell has also written magazine articles, a number of which have been published in Smithsonian, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. One of her articles, "The Mystery of the Donut's Hole," in which she presents her research about camel crickets, can be found in the already mentioned Missouri Conservationist Magazine online. Hubbell has also written a new introduction to new edition of Rachel Carson's The Edge of the Sea (1998).

Selected Bibliography

  • Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them (1989)
  • Broadsides from the Other Orders: A Book of Bugs (1993)
  • Far-Flung Hubbell: Essays from the American Road (1995)
  • Waiting for Aphrodite: Journeys Into the Time Before Bones (1999)
  • Shrinking the Cat: Genetic Engineering Before We Knew about Genes (2001)
  • From Here to There and Back Again (2004)