Merrill Joan Gerber was born in Brooklyn, New York. She has published thirty books, and is an award winning novelist and short story writer. She has published stories in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Mademoiselle, The Sewanee Review, Salmagundi, The Southwest Review, and many other journals. In 1986 Gerber won an O. Henry Prize. In 1993, she won the Ribalow Award from Hadassah Magazine for her novel, The Kingdom of Brooklyn. She currently teaches fiction writing at the California Institute of Technology.