Washburn, Frances (Franci Washburn)

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Washburn, Frances (Franci Washburn)


Education: University of New Mexico, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., 2003.


Office—American Indian Studies, University of Arizona, 218 Harvill Bldg., P.O. Box 210076, Tucson, AZ 85721-0076. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer and professor. University of Arizona, Tucson, faculty member in American Indian Studies.


Elsie's Business (novel), University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Indigenous Nations Studies Journal, American Indian Quarterly, and Studies in American Indian Literature.


Frances Washburn is a professor in the department of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona with a particular interest in American Indian literature and art. Washburn's first novel was published in 2006 and incorporates many elements of her research. Elsie's Business tells the story of a young woman of Native American and African American descent whose victimization at the hands of local teenagers prompts her to start a new life off the reservation. Despite her newfound peace, she eventually becomes the target of violence once more, quite possibly at the hands of someone from her past. The story is told in the second person by an unknown narrator who arrives on the scene a year after Elsie is killed, and who is attempting to put the mysteries surrounding her death to rest. The novel was released as part of the University of Nebraska Press's "Native Storiers" series, books integrating the narratives of American Indians. In a review for Booklist, Deborah Donovan commented that Washburn "weaves together a murder tale, a story of small-town prejudice, and … mysticism in a haunting debut." A Kirkus Reviews critic remarked: "This frequently sad story is most interesting when showing the intersection of modern and Native life."



Booklist, September 15, 2006, Deborah Donovan, review of Elsie's Business, p. 30.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2006, review of Elsie's Business, p. 808.


University of Arizona, Department of American Indian Studies,http://aisp.web.arizona.edu/washburn.htm (June 27, 2007), author's faculty profile.