Like many of her characters, Rosemary Gerard grew up in "The City" but left for open spaces as soon as she could. She was educated in New Mexico and Illinois, taught college in Washington State, lived for several years in Guatemala with her husband, and sailed with him halfway around the world before settling in what was once her grandmother's summer cottage on the Maine coast. She tries to get out onto the water whenever it is not actually frozen solid, and is seriously contemplating the purchase of an iceboat.
Gerard's The Woman, the Elm, Contrition, & Knowledge, a selection of short stories and the novella that gives the collection its name, was released in March 2010.
But soon he was knocking his head almost daily against the quaint sloping ceiling. This is the kitchen area, the Realtor had said, perhaps cued by the brownstained enamel sink and the greasy stovetop, and [Amie] had answered with an enthusiasm she certainly had not taken from the Realtor: Oh, yes, very nice, and he had dutifully echoed, Yes, very nice; and the Realtor had pushed in – with a satisfying hip check – the only interior door, and gestured to the cigarette butts against the sediment ring in the toilet bowl and said, This is the bath, and again they had responded with enthusiasm, Yes, yes, very nice; and they, following the Realtor's lead, presented themselves to the chipped, claw-footed tub at the end of the unspacious room and nodded in approval, and when the severely sloping ceiling was pointed out from the maximum head clearance at the center of the room, she cried, Quaint, and he, after registering her expectant look: Quaint, yes, and she: Yes, that does it, and he: Yes, that does it, and she: We'll take it – only that wasn't what did it at all: the rent, twelve dollars under their budgeted allowance, would allow them an occasional cold beer to be shared out of his cherished 1937 Edward VIII coronation mug. And everytime he knocked his head he muttered, Simplify, simplify, and stared belligerently at her until she righted his wireframe glasses and offered to borrow some ice from the unlocked outdoor bin at the motel next door. And he, mollified by the ritual, would rub his head and protest, It's only a small crack, and she, by tradition, was required to ask why he chose to work on the edges of the room where he was virtually assured of banging his head if he wasn't careful as he came up; it certainly wasn't – and here she was required to sweep the room with her right hand – for being crowded out by tons of furniture and bric-a-brac. Tradition had not yet required pursuit beyond this point, but on April first he looked at her and offered, Troglodyte.
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