Welcome to my website.  Details about my
books, my NPR commentaries, readers'
guides, and the inevitable author's blog are
all here.  Right now, I am thrilled to
announce that my latest book -- my first
novel  -- is being published by
GCP/Hachette in June, 2014. A free e-
preview is available from Amazon.  Please
download a sneak peek and keep on
reading. Thanks for your interest & support,
                                     Susan Jane Gilman

   In 1913, a small child named Malka
Treynovsky flees Russia for New York with her
family – only to be crippled and
abandoned on the  streets of the Lower
East Side as soon as she arrives.

Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices
peddler, Malka  is determined to survive
through cunning and inventiveness, quietly
absorbing the secrets of his trade.  

susan jane gilman

Debut novel
Coming June 10th, 2014
The epic tale of a fierce young immigrant’s rise to become the
greatest ice cream maker in America...and her spectacular fall.

other books  
"Thank you, O Lord, for sending us Susan Gilman's tales." -- Frank McCourt
Check out the forthcoming book
"A godsend for readers" -- Alexandra Fuller
author's bio       bookshelf         blog        reading guides        media       upcoming events       contact
author photo: Francois Bourru                                                                                                                                                                            Copyright  © 2014 Susan Jane Gilman.  All Rights Reserved  
When she falls in love with Albert, an illiterate radical, they set off together across America in
an ice cream truck to seek their fortune.  Slowly, Malka transforms herself  into Lillian Dunkle,
whom President Eisenhower christens “The Ice Cream Queen of America” -- doyenne of an
empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated TV personality.

Spanning seventy years, Lillian Dunkle's rise is inextricably linked to the course of American
history itself -- from Prohibition, to World War II, to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet she is nothing
like the whimsical, motherly “ice cream lady” she portrays in the media. Conniving, irreverent,
and profane,  Lillian is an indomitable businesswoman -- a complex, modern-day anti-hero --
who prefers a good stiff drink to a sundae. And when her past starts catching up with her, her
world implodes spectacularly.

“THE ICE CREAM QUEEN OF ORCHARD STREET is a wonderful read, by turns poignant and
wickedly funny. This is the immigrant story updated, with a brazenly re-imagined American anti-hero,
and delicious all along the way. ”
                                                                   —Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd and Paradise Alley

“This shrewd and lively novel tells us about those chasms between public success and private truths that
make up so much of American life. The energetic narrator, the ice cream queen, is a confidence-
woman, and her darkly comic story about life in the big city and in the media spotlight will give readers
chills. ”
Charles Baxter, author of The Soul Thief
"Publishers' frantic search for 'the female David Sedaris' may have finally
come to an end." -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Download the first three chapters
Free e-preview from Amazon


"Picture a scrappy young immigrant who amasses fame and fortune through bone-grinding labor, canny speculation, and the gift of gab,
only to wind up a paranoid alcoholic mired in the trappings of luxury, in trouble with the Feds for tax fraud.  You pictured a man, right?  
Gotcha!  This is the genius of
THE ICE CREAM QUEEN OF ORCHARD STREET: in a novel that condenses the innocence, the
calculation, the hope, and the delusions of twentieth-century America into one figure, Susan Jane Gilman taps a heroine to do the heavy
lifting.  The scope is broad, the writing is sumptuous, and Lillian Dunkle née Malka Treynovsky leaves Kane and Gatsby in the dust: she's
a full-steam-ahead geyser tapped into the American life force itself. "
Ellis Avery, author of The Last Nude and The Teahouse Fire