The University of Wisconsin Press

Writing / Memoir / Essays

Gut Feelings
A Writer's Truths and Minute Inventions
Merrill Joan Gerber

"One reads Gerber headlong, driven to turn her pages as rapidly as possible, leaping toward resolution."—Cynthia Cynthia Ozick

In these highly personal essays and powerful tales that verge on memoir, Merrill Joan Gerber opens to us her life and work as a writer. She is candid and unflinching in revealing the truths and inventions of a writer's vision and the use of life as the raw material of art. Her personal essays range widely, from the mysteries of love and marriage to painful encounters with suicides and family deaths.

Gerber writes of her apprenticeships with celebrated writing teachers Andrew Lytle and Wallace Stegner and recounts her ghostly (and ghastly) experiences during a month at Yaddo, the famous retreat for artists. Gerber includes three pieces in the book—originally published as stories—but which blur the line between fiction and memoir, demonstrating Gerber's contention that the deepest secrets in life beget the most passionate fictions.

"These pieces move back and forth across the boundary between memoir and fiction. Vivid and gripping, they offer memorable characters and events. One narrative moves deeply into a marital relationship—suggesting a kind of paradigm for the systole and diastole of marriage that I found profoundly moving. And troubling. And satisfying."—Janet Burstein, Drew University

Merrill Joan Gerber teaches creative writing at the California Institute of Technology. Her most recent book is Botticelli Blue Skies: An American in Florence, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Her many novels, short story collections, and non-fiction works include King of the World, The Kingdom of Brooklyn, Anna in Chains, Anna in the Afterlife, and Old Mother, Little Cat.

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cover of Gerber is photo of author

March 2003
LC: 2002010202 PS
220 pp.    6 x 9
Cloth ISBN 978-0-299-18350-9

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You can visit Merrill Joan Gerber's personal website by clicking here.

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