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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.

King of the World, by Merrill Joan Gerber

rEprint Series Ebooks

King of the World, by Merrill Joan Gerber

Gerber - King of the World - Final Cover.jpg
Gerber - King of the World - Final Cover.jpg

King of the World, by Merrill Joan Gerber

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Based on a true story, this shattering novel about the abuse of a wife and child will stick with the reader long after they turn the last page. Merrill Joan Gerber reveals the love affair of Ginny and her sensitive but horribly destructive lover, Michael. The pair adopts a child that Michael both loves and abuses. As Ginny struggles to rid herself of him and save her child, Michael becomes the incarnation of depravity.


“A mock coronation opens this brilliant novel about the harrowing but erotically charged 15-year marriage of fluttery Ginny and seductive, psychotic Michael Fisher, who dubs Ginny ‘Queen of the World’ with a broken starfish, then drowns her dog on a rowboat trip. Lusting for control, Michael abuses Ginny and their adopted baby while claiming to love them, and squanders the family goods on get-rich schemes. The novel, set in California, exquisitely delineates the pair’s mutual dependency: Ginny, with a malformed spine, insecure and fixated on a man who outrages the staid respectability of her Jewish parents; Michael, with his boiling sexuality and criminal behavior, gradually subsumed by madness and self-pity. Ginny’s efforts to disentangle herself bring her to offbeat therapist Annie, then a job-training program and a shelter for battered women. Images of water—fishing, floating and drowning—converge in the couple’s turbulent waterbed, which Michael finally slashes and nails to the bedroom wall. This newest novel by seasoned fiction writer Gerber (Honeymoon) won Pushcart’s eighth annual Editors’ Book Award.” —Publishers Weekly


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.