Osborne, Betsey 1957-
OSBORNE, Betsey 1957-
Writer and educator. Has worked at the New Yorker, Grand Street, and Vanity Fair; Teachers College, writer-in-the-schools; taught at the college, high school and junior high school levels. Board member of the Osborne Association.
The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe (novel), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Betsey Osborne's first novel, The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe, takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas in a small, 1980's upstate-New York town named Sparta. The story revolves around Uncas Metcalfe, a no-nonsense botany professor who deals better with plants than with people. He is also disgruntled over the hardships and economic problems in his small town, an area where his family has lived for five generations. As the novel progresses, Uncas suffers a series of personal setbacks, including his wife's hospitalization with a leg injury, leaving Uncas without his more socially adept better half. Uncas is also pondering the time he saw his wife kissing an old friend in the kitchen, a harmless encounter that nevertheless prickles him. As a final test, the stoic Uncas faces the wrath of an angry student, whose father Uncas once refused to help. Debbie Bogenschutz, writing in the Library Journal, called Uncas "a splendid character." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the author "establishes a genuine sense of history and caring in Uncas's familial relationships with just a few well-chosen words." In a review in Booklist, Donna Seaman called the book a "graceful minuet of a novel" and an "empathic and finely modulated drama."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2006, Donna Seaman, review of The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe, p. 30.
Citizen (Auburn, NY), May 7, 2006, Diane La Rue, review of The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2006, review of The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe, p. 154.
Library Journal, April 1, 2006, Debbie Bogenschutz, review of The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe, p. 85; June 1, 2006, Rebecca Miller, "Q&A: Betsey Osborne," p. 112.
Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 2006, Martha Wood-all, review of The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe.
Providence Journal, July 2, 2006, Sam Coale, review of The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe.
Publishers Weekly, March 13, 2006, review of The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe, p. 39.
Syracuse Post-Standard, May 7, 2006, Laura Ryan, interview with author.
Betsey Osborne Home Page,http://www.betseyosborne.com (October 1, 2006).
Mercantile Library Web site,http://www.mercantilelibrary.org/ (October 1, 2006), brief profile of author.