Susan Jane Gilman

Susan Jane Gilman has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, and her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Ms. magazine, among others. Though she lives in Geneva, Switzerland, she remains, eternally, a child of New York.

Celebrated for her humor, candor and unique perspective, Gilman quickly became a critical darling and now we’re celebrating Gilman's fiction debut,The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street (Grand Central Publishing Hardcover; June 10, 2014).  This debut novel will draw you in immediately with the irrepressible voice of protagonist Lillian Dunkle, who will proceed to tell you the epic tale of her rise from the squalor of the Lower East Side tenements as a new immigrant to become the greatest ice cream maker in America. While her story is captivating, what will keep you reading is Lillian herself: a charming, hard-working woman who’s overcome her disability to become America’s Ice Cream Queen. Oh, and a ruthless businesswoman who will play every situation to her advantage, regardless of the consequences for others.  She is an anti-hero—who verges on villain—and you can’t help but love her.

(Photo © François Bourru)