The Hysterectomy Waltz

Merrill Gerber II

THE BOOK: The Hysterectomy Waltz.


THE AUTHOR: Merrill Joan Gerber.

THE PUBLISHER: “Dzanc (a new publisher, which put on-line 16 of my prior books as e-books. You can find them on Amazon by typing in “Merrill Joan Gerber Kindle.” Please note that the covers of the e-books: these were all painted by me in the Cancer Support Center which offers a watercolor class for those in cancer treatment and beyond.”

A woman of forty is discovered to have an ovarian cyst that doctors decide should be removed, as with “all the rest of it,” so she won’t have to return at some future time to have her sex organs removed.

THE BACK STORY:  “My novel was actually written 30 years before it was published. I had a hysterectomy when I was forty years old, after I had my three children. In those days it was the fashion to tell a woman “You might as well have it all out. Forget the plumbing, keep the playground.”

“When I reported to my surgeon about a serious reduction in sexual feeling, she said to me: ‘Well, you’re a writer, maybe you’re more sensitive than most.'”

The Hysterectomy WaltzWHY THIS TITLE? Prior to my surgery, a film strip was shown to women with the clear message that even if all our sexual organs were removed, “You can still waltz the night away with your husband.”

The phrase was perfect, and it became the title for my novel.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? This book is a fearless look at female sexuality, anatomy, marriage, motherhood and love — there’s never been another book like it about hysterectomy, or about anyrthing else.


By Jenijoy LaBelle:
“No one but the astonishing Merrill Joan Gerber could have written this wonderful and wicked novel. Her heroine undergoes a painful and perhaps unnecessary hysterectomy, and yet you’ll find yourself laughing hysterically (pun intended) throughout this eloquent black comedy. It is both derisively written and deeply felt. Male gynecologists may have removed the narrator’s uterus and one of her ovaries, but it is Gerber’s sharp eyes, wit and tongue that dissect those doctors for our delectation. I relished every page of this provocative novel, and each step of the waltz.”

By Cynthia Ozick:
“I came to the end of this excerpt, not knowing it was the end, and there wasn’t any more, and what a disappointment. It’s truly powerful, and acrid and barber and filled with wonderful and unexpected turns of phrase, and above all it’s shocking in its directness and understated anger and sadness and fear. In short, it’s an amazing piece of writing.”

: Merrill Joan Gerber is a prize-winning novelist and short story writer who has published sevwen novels — among them The Kingdom of Brooklyn, winner of the Ribalow Award from Hadassah Magazine for “the best English language book of fiction on a Jewish theme”; Anna in the Afterlife, chosen by the Los Angeles times as one of the “Best Novels of 2002,” and King of the World, which won the Pushcart Editor’s Book Award.

Merrill has written five volumes of short stories, and her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Mademoiselle, The Sewanee Review, The Virginia Review, Commentary, Salmagundi, The American Scholar, The Southwest Review, and elsewhere. She earned her BA from the University of Florida, her MA in English from Brandeis University and was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fiction Fellowship to Stanford University. She presently teaches fiction writing at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: On Amazon page.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “So many women have hysterectomies without realizing the profound effect the removal of the uturus may have on their sexual responses. Yes, you may be able to waltz the night away with your lover after such a surgery, but you may not have the acute joy in sex you may have had before.”

WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & noble, local bookstores.

PRICE: $6.41 on-line at Amazon, $6.09 e-book, $15 at a bookstore.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Merrill Joan Gerber can be reached by e-mail at See her Web page at

Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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