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Anna in Chains

139 pages2 hours


Anna in Chains is a collection of stories about the reality of being an elderly woman in the modern world and all the struggles that go with it.

Anna Goldman, nearly eighty years old, widowed and living on her own in the Fairfax Area of Los Angeles, struggles to remain independent as she moves through the modern world. Jewish, but disenchanted with religion in any guise, Anna eats bacon to dare God's wrath. Living in a mixed ethnic neighborhood, Anna pronounces her prejudices against all foreigners wondering where the values of the world she remembers have gone.


"Gerber has created a colorful and memorable character. Her prose is richly detailed, and along the way we learn much about the nature of loneliness and aging. The title story, set in a nursing home is truly moving Happily, Gerber has dramatized Anna in these stories " Hadassah Magazine

"Widowed Anna, with her short skirts, her tart tongue, her two pianos (Mozart is her 'religion') and her practiced cynicism about men, moves from her apartment in Los Angeles' Fairfax District to a retirement home, fully aware that it's her next-to-last stop. She stares Death in the face, and he almost seems to wink There are funny stories that nonetheless bear our Anna's belief that 'we live on the verge of catastrophe, and the natural state of life should reasonably be terror.'" Los Angeles Times

"Prolific Gerber creates a character who rages eloquently against the coming of the night Full of antic, bittersweet detail." Kirkus Reviews

"Merrill Joan Gerber's work is distinguished by the precision of its insights and the elegance of her deceptively forthright style. No one is better at rendering the complications and frustrations of ordinary lives. Her touch is light, but her work is powerful." Robert Stone

"Merrill is, above all and underneath all, a crucially honest writer She is one of those writers who discover us to ourselves, and move us almost more than we can bear." Cynthia Ozick

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