Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Eckhard Gerdes  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1959

-- Website --
-- Eckhard Gerdes on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Gerdes lives in Geneva, Illinois and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Gerdes is an American novelist and editor. He earned his MFA in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

ISBN: 1884097006

Depth Charge. 1986

Ring in a River
ISBN: 0595183557

iUniverse. 2001

With Ring in a River,the new novel by Eckhard Gerdes, one of America's most innovative novelists, Gerdes further pries the novel away from its subservience to 19th century literary conventions and enthusiastically flings it into the realities of modern life.When Eckhard Gerdes's Truly Fine Citizen was published in 1989, the innovative British novelist Michael Moorcock said it was "the work of a writer clearly impatient with the currently devalued conventions of modern fiction. The book is a fresh wind. I congratulate Mr. Gerdes on raising this particular storm!"With Ring in a River, the storm continues unabated. Eckhard Gerdes takes the reader into the world of Austin, Texas, circa April 1962, and transplants a newly disenfranchised Iowa philosophy professor into a life of jazz, ornithology, madness, and self-redefinition in that inimitable way which we have come to expect of this great writer.

Truly Fine Citizen: A Romantic Story of Past, Present & Future
ISBN: 0913617091

Highlander Press. 0

Book by Eckhard Gerdes

John Barth, Bearded Bards & Splitting Hairs: The Journal of Experimental Fiction Seventeen
ISBN: 059520466X

iUniverse. 2001

The premier international source for literature at the forefront, The Journal of Experimental Fiction has done it again! It has collected writing by some of the bravest, most innovative and thought-provoking, most emotive authors working today. A special section features a previously unpublished essay by John Barth presented as a lecture at Macon State College and 17 narrative responses written by students. Other selections include fiction by Steven Kedrowski, Amina Memory Cain, Daniel Borzutzky, Antoinette Nora Claypoole, Lee Groban, Persis Gerdes, Todd Smith , and Kari Edwards. Famous works of experimental fiction are parodied by Thomas McCain, Dawn Hamilton and Eckhard Gerdes. Also featured are a critical essay by Tim Miller and a review of John Barth's new novel, "Coming Soon!!!" This anthology is a welcome and vital addition to the great literature of our age!

Cistern Tawdry
ISBN: 1879193094

Fugue State Press. 2002

A giddy mixture of Lawrence Sterne and Tristan Tzara, Cistern Tawdry uses graphics, typographics, poetry, and prose narration to tell the story of a man who dies and is reborn in a quest to save his unborn child. Eckhard Gerdes is a writer whose energy and wit are always in the service of emotional and heartfelt storytelling

that he accomplishes this while also working at the very edge of the avant-garde is an almost unbelievable bonus. There is an excitement to reading his work which comes from the discovery that the freedom and power of the novel form are greater than the reader ever suspected. Cistern Tawdry is Eckhard Gerdes' magnum opus, his greatest work to date.

Przewalski's Horse
ISBN: 1597090204

Red Hen Press. 2007

Przewalkski s Horse is a modern hejira following the misadventures of Keith Fine, a disgruntled former postal employee. When Keith discovers his wife s infidelity, he leaves his job, his family and his home and hits the road. He hopes to find some remaining fragment of who he had once been. Cut off from everything familiar in his life, he sets off on a journey to reconnect with his earlier life as a young man in Chicago. He has been reading and has become upset by the columns of one Adrian in the Chicago Daily Mail, and decides to find the writer and give him a piece of his mind: a classic case of anger displacement, perhaps. On the way, he meets and gets entangled with a variety of odd characters who, like him, have taken to life on the fringe of society. Keith works toward building a new life with a new family, but eventually he realizes he is only mirroring his previous existence, and that he has been trying to escape, not life, but himself.

The Million-Year Centipede
ISBN: 1933293357

Raw Dog Screaming Press. 2007

Wakelin, frontman of seminal rock group The Hinge, once wrote a poem so prophetic that to ignore its wisdom is to doom yourself to drown in blood. After realizing the power of his words he faked his own death. Now one obsessed fan is tracking Wakelin down...can he be found before it's too late?

Journal Of Experimental Fiction 34
ISBN: 1884097340

Depth Charge. 2007

This edition is out of print.

Please order the updated edition.

My Landlady the Lobotomist
ISBN: 1933293608

Raw Dog Screaming Press. 2008

The brains of past tenants line the shelves of my boarding house, soaking in a mysterious elixir. I'm pretty sure something has infected my gray matter

an epic battle between Godzilla and the divine She-Sus rages in my hypothalamus. In my pituatary gland a dragonfly woos an electric blue angelfish and all the while brutal prog steampunk echoes through my cerebrum. One more slip-up and the landlady might just add my frontal lobe to her collection.

The Unwelcome Guest plus Nin and Nan
ISBN: 1926617134

Enigmatic Ink. 2010

Fan-favorite novelist Eckhard Gerdes is back, and this time with both barrels loaded! These two novels tackle modern life's complexities as only the twelve-gauge pen of Eckhard Gerdes can. The Unwelcome Guest is the story of one man's flight from paranoia, and Nin & Nan features a gender-ambiguous couple who take on the entire federal government. Both novels are richly humorous, but at the core of each is the pressing concern that modern concerns are pressing on us too much. Twice a top-ten finisher in the Preditors and Editors annual readers' poll of the best novels of the year, Gerdes is certain to delight his legion of loyal literati with his legendary legerdemain in this new double offering . Sit down, relax, and take off your socks-you'd laugh them off anyway as you read The Unwelcome Guest and Nin and Nan.

Hugh Moore
ISBN: 098460376X

Civil Coping Mechanisms. 2010

Fiction. "Funny, mischievous, riotously re-Joycean, HUGH MOORE's protagonists are ultimately language and form themselves, its plot how they continuously surprise and delight while showing us how we're all filled with others trying to write our books, and how real love arrives, both inside and outside word worlds, not through work, but play"—Lance Olsen.

Three Psychedelic Novellas
ISBN: 1926617185

Enigmatic Ink. 2012

When Eckhard Gerdes’s first published book, a chapbook of the novella Projections, was published in 1986 in a limited edition of 200 copies, the legendary review magazine Factsheet Five stated, “This work lies somewhere on the borderland between poetry and dream, in an area that I seldom enter without chemical aid (indeed, I was tempted to reread this at once while under the influence of some suitable substance, but the pressures of writing other reviews dissuaded me). Gerdes’s writing is not linear and direct, but at the same time it is not as dense and difficult as that of, say, James Joyce. There is even a plot here, of sorts.” Now this gem of a collector’s item (copies sell at prices upwards of a thousand dollars) is finally reissued in a beautiful new edition accompanied by two other novellas from Eckhard Gerdes’s psychedelic period, Systems of Flux, which has recently been serialized in Liebamour, a popular magazine of psychedelic art, and the never-before-published Aspic Interregencies.

The Sylvia Plath Cookbook: A Satire
ISBN: 1105871673 2012

The second in Sugar Glider Press' series of smaller works, Eckhard Gerdes' "The Sylvia Plath Cookbook: A Satire" is the clever story of a writer toying with the idea of putting together a piece on the tragic poet. As his obsession seems on the verge of permanently distracting him, it is Sylvia herself who emerges from her doom to set him free.

Journal of Experimental Fiction 39
ISBN: 1884097146

JEF Books. 2012

This anthology is vastly panoramic in scope, encompassing countless styles, genres, frames of influence, and even geographic locations, from authors both new and influential. For years, the Journal of Experimental Fiction has been widely recognized as the preeminent source of innovative fiction, and as ever, readers can expect to find here the absolute best work being written in English.

23 Skidoo! 23 Form-Fitting Poems
ISBN: 1622292154

Finishing Line Press. 2013

A poetry chapbook

How to Read
ISBN: 1935738682

Guide Dog Books. 2014

For too long, our educational system has oversimplified the practice of reading while pretending that only one method works: Read as fast as you can, from beginning to end, in a straight line, without skipping anything. The fastest reader is the best reader and gets the gold star and the certificate for free ice cream! This, of course, punishes deliberate, careful students and booklovers who delight in the process and incorporate what they read into their everyday lives. The dominant method of reading works for simple linear texts, but it is by no means the only way to go about reading and excludes many other types of texts. In How to Read, veteran novelist, editor and educator Eckhard Gerdes reveals 81 different approaches for reading, opening up new horizons that restrictive educators have been blocking from view for far too long. This innovative guidebook will enrich the experience of textuality for young and old readers alike.

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