Glimmering Girls tells the story of three extraordinary American women during a time of sexual and cultural repression. Francie and her friends Liz and Amanda are college students, coming of age intellectually, emotionally, and physically in a setting where men were forbidden entry to women's dorm rooms, and women were locked into those rooms after curfew. College life for women was governed by one simple, cardinal rule: Marry Before Graduation or Be Lost Forever. Any thrist for adventure was supposed to be satisfied by the occasional panty raid. Francie and friends, however, find all this hard to swallow, and they resist their appointed futures as elementary school teachers and holders of the precious ""MRS"" degree. Doing the unthinkable, the three move off campus to live in a house with three men - Liz's boyfriend and two handsome, mysterious Southern twins who fix foreign cars in a shop off campus. There the young women's rebellion against expectations deepens, and they begin the real-world education of pursuing their dreams. Francie yearns to be a writer and is encouraged by her Russian literature professor. Then she meets Joshua, a talented and dedicated piano student, who presents the ultimate challenge: does she maintain her ""virtue,"" or give in to her sexual desires, finally breaking fully free of repressive ""respectability""? Ultimately, Francie, Liz, and Amanda each find a way to live fully at a time when their entire culture seemed arrayed against them.
Merrill Joan Gerber teaches fiction writing at the California Institute of Technology. Her many novels, short-story collections, and non-fiction works include Botticelli Blue Skies and the prize-winning King of the World and Kingdom of Brooklyn. Her most recent books are Gut Feelings: A Writer's Truths and Minute Inventions and This Is a Voice from Your Past: New and Selected Stories.