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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Glimmering Girls, by Merrill Joan Gerber

rEprint Series Ebooks

Glimmering Girls, by Merrill Joan Gerber

Gerber - Glimmering Girls - Final Cover.jpg
Gerber - Glimmering Girls - Final Cover.jpg

Glimmering Girls, by Merrill Joan Gerber

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Glimmering Girls tells the story of three extraordinary American women during a time of sexual and cultural repression.

Francie and her friends Liz and Amanda are college students, coming of age intellectually, emotionally, and physically in a setting where men were forbidden entry to women’s dorm rooms, and women were locked into those rooms after curfew. College life for women was governed by one simple, cardinal rule: Marry Before Graduation or Be Lost Forever. Any thirst for adventure was supposed to be satisfied by the occasional panty raid.

Francie and friends, however, find all this hard to swallow, and they resist their appointed futures as elementary school teachers and holders of the precious “MRS” degree. Francie yearns to be a writer and is encouraged by her Russian literature professor. Then she meets Joshua, a talented and dedicated piano student, who presents the ultimate challenge: does she maintain her “virtue,” or give in to her sexual desires, finally breaking fully free of repressive “respectability”?

Glimmering Girls follows Francie, Liz, and Amanda through this and other discoveries and adventures. Ultimately, each finds a way to live fully at a time when their entire culture seemed arrayed against them.


“Readers will enjoy Glimmering Girls for its combination of poetry, sexuality, humor, and yearning in a young woman’s life.” —Charlotte Zoe Walker, SUNY Oneonta, former NEA creative writing fellow and O. Henry Award winner 

“Gerber’s fine attention to craft is abundantly evident, from the wonderful pacing of the narrative to her sympathetic and adroit rendering of her independent and intelligent artist-as-a-young-woman protagonist struggling through an era of American life that refuses to extol such qualities in women.” —Andrew Furman, author of Contemporary Jewish-American Writers and the Multicultural Dilemma: The Return of the Exiled

“As a woman of that period I enjoyed particularly the detailed account of dorm regulations, of surveillance, of two ‘feet on the floor’ rules for evening guests. [Gerber] hasn’t forgotten much about what it was like to move into adulthood—sexual and social—in a world so restrictive, fearful, and distrustful of natural impulses.” —Janet Burstein, author of Telling the Little Secrets: American Jewish Writing Since the 1980s


Merrill Joan Gerber is a prize-winning novelist and short story writer. Among her novels are The Kingdom of Brooklyn, winner of the Ribalow Award from Hadassah Magazine for “the best English-language book of fiction on a Jewish theme,” Anna in the Afterlife, chosen by the Los Angeles Times as a “Best Novel of 2002” and King of the World, which won the Pushcart Editors’ Book Award.