In these pages I hope to address the magnitudes and the minutiae that fall upon us all in the way that we confront sudden bits of knowledge, stumble upon realizations, and feel our way among passions, pains and troubles. I’d like to call it “This Is My Letter To The World,” taken from the Emily Dickinson poem that tells it this way:
This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me—
The simple News that Nature told—
With tender Majesty
Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see—
For love of Her—Sweet—countrymen—
Judge tenderly—of Me
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. For thirty-two years she taught fiction writing at the California Institute of Technology. Her literary archive is housed at the Yale Beinecke rare books library.
In these pages you will find my published books: the stories, novels and memoirs whose secrets first began to speak to me when I was twelve, when my father gave me a blank printer’s dummy and inscribed it: ”To Merry, a book to enter happy and interesting events—Dad.” That year, he set up a card table in our cellar and presented me with my first typewriter. There, in the musty quiet under our house, with the fiery furnace roaring behind me, I wrote my first impressions of the nature of life.
The photos below are images from my childhood in Brooklyn, to the shores of Miami Beach during World War Two and through the years of my growing up. Ultimately, my passion for writing invited the illuminations and insights that grew with the events of each passing year. The paintings I did came as a surprise to me, in the watercolor class of the cancer support community. Everything, it has turned out, is a story.