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Anna in the Afterlife

123 pages2 hours


"Once her dying got underway, Anna could not really complain about the way the process moved along." So begins this deftly amusing, wryly perceptive look at the dying of a feisty, funny ninety-year old woman. During the four days between her death and her burial --and with the unique perception she is allowed prior to her funeral--Anna discovers certain secrets her daughters have hidden from her. She is deeply shocked by the revelation of an act that must have transpired between herself as a child and her much older brother. In her final moments of consciousness, Anna makes the last commentaries on her own secrets and crimes before stepping into eternity.


"Merrill Joan Gerber is not only one of our most underrated contemporary writers, she also may well be our least pretentious. Her utter lack of pretence is a major source of her raw power as a writer Like Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, and some of the great Jewish comedians, Gerber extracts wry humor from embarrassing, awkward and desperate situations, even in illness and death Like Bellow, Gerber has a genius for the irritable, the acrid and the embittered. The visitor from another planet who doesn't know what it means to kvetch would need to look no further than Gerber's fiction for superb illustration of the phenomenon Her eyes are trained on the quotidian, but the acuity and intensity of her vision are not less extraordinary." Merle Rubin, Los Angeles Times

"Award winning writer Merrill Joan Gerber's mini-novel chronicles the unlikely but oddly believable tale of 90-year-old Anna"dead but not buried"during the four day interval between her passing (a word that Anna would have hated) and her burial Readers of Gerber's previous novels and stories will recognize the characters but that familiarity will serve to enhance the curious charm of his curious book." Gloria Goldreich, Hadassah Magazine

"Gerber is a careful observer of those thousands of details that forge family dynamics and skillfully transforms life's ordinary and gut-wrenching moments into compelling prose." Judy Bart Kancigor, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles

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