Susan Jane Gilman

Susan Jane Gilman

Susan Jane Gilman, a native New York writer known for combining sharp wit with lyrical pathos, is the bestselling author of three nonfiction books: "Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven," "Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress" and "Kiss My Tiara," plus the novel, "The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street." Her second novel, "Donna Has Left the Building," arrives June 4, 2019, from Grand Central Publishing, and can be pre-ordered now. Gilman has written for the New York Times, the L.A. Times, Real Simple, and Ms. magazine among others, been a contributor to NPR's "All Things Considered," and won literary awards for her journalism and short fiction. She was also the recipient of a "Golden Earphones" Award for her Audiobook recording of "The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street." She once told an interviewer: "I never set out to write books that made people laugh. My main love has always been literary fiction. However, even with my darkest work, people always tell me that parts of it are funny. This used to annoy me because I aspired to be an American Dostoevsky with Breasts. Yet when I was living in Washington DC, I took a writers’ workshop at the Bethesda Writers’ Center. The first story I submitted was a heartbreaking tale of a man’s addiction, which impressed the class. The second was an absurd story about mistaken identity full of Jews, Rastafarians, lesbians, and dental hygienists. To my great irritation, the class liked this one infinitely more. After class, a man pulled me aside. 'I have to tell you,' he said. 'My wife has been battling breast cancer. I read her your story last night, and it was the first time in two years she really laughed. You’ve got a gift. Please don’t ignore it. Not everyone can make a sick woman laugh in her hospital bed.' That’s when I finally saw the merit in my own, lurking smart-ass and stopped fighting it." Although she currently resides primarily in Switzerland, her heart and her feet are never far from her homeland.

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