This brilliant, genre-defying novel, like its main character, cannot be aptly described. Gertrude Unmanageable, one hundred and three years old (or thereabouts), arrives at Serenity, a geriatric facility in a town called Promise. From there, the novel wonders about love and reproduction as two distinct forms of life intersect, and Gertrude finds poignant pleasure in the unmanageable she insists she carry.

Deborah Schnitzer’s homage to modernist writer Gertrude Stein is evident in her genius content, wordplay, experimental form, and style. Gertrude Unmanageable is a startling and rewarding work.

Part of our Literary Collection.

I recommend Gertrude—and Gertrude—for anyone who likes their expectations thoroughly challenged.

Shawn Syms, Prairie Fire Review of Books

Subject Fiction/Literary
Published April 2007
Price $18.95 CDN
Pages 251 pp (Paper)
Dimensions 5.5″ × 7.5″ × 0.75″
ISBN-10 1894037286
ISBN-13 9781894037280

Related Titles


  • Shawn Syms, in Prairie Fire Review of Books writes:

    Gertrude Unmanageable is an odd duck. And so is Gertrude Unmanageable herself, the eponymous heroine of Deborah Schnitzer’s debut novel. Though it confuses and frustrates at moments, Gertrude is ultimately a heartwarming glimpse into the interior lives of characters plunged into an unanticipated and otherworldly situation.

  • Ron Robinson, in Winnipeg Free Press writes:

    Reading Gertude Unmanageable is like watching an episode of Star Trek written by an author who has had the protective sheath removed from her nerve endings.


About the Author

Deborah Schnitzer is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Winnipeg, a 3M Teaching Fellow, and the author of two books of poetry: Black Beyond Blue (Staccato Press, 1997) and Loving Gertrude Stein (Turnstone Press, 2004).