Welcome to my page! My name is Marianne Gage and I’m delighted to show you my work in literature and art. Please feel free to peruse the ever-growing gallery, and if you have any questions or comments, please contact me.
Marianne Gage is a San Francisco Bay Area writer, artist and teacher. (In Oakland in the 1950s, she taught Huey Newton, later leader of the Black Panthers — no sign then of insurgency! This became the inspiration for the Private Faces character Ranie, a beautiful young woman whose brother belongs to the Panthers.)
After teaching, Marianne worked as a portrait painter and printmaker for many years, and many of her portraits and monotypes hang in Bay Area homes.
Born in Oklahoma and educated at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Marianne arrived in the Bay Area in 1952, where she did graduate work at San Francisco State and California College of Arts & Crafts (now California College of the Arts). CCAC is where she met her husband, illustrator Ed Diffenderfer.
Marianne has published two novels with Plain View Press, Austin, Texas: The Wind Came Running (2010) and The Putneyville Fables (2012).
Marianne and Ed have two grown children and three grandsons.
Private Faces (forthcoming) follows artist Natalie Newbury and seven of her beautiful portrait subjects across three decades and two continents, from 1960s and ’70s California to France in the ’80s and back again, as Natalie faces infidelity, betrayal and the quest for artistic fulfillment. Private Faces was sold to Endeavor Press Ltd. by literary agent Linda Langton and will be available on Amazon in early 2017.
In The Putneyville Fables (Plain View Press, 2012), the extended Cherrystone clan of eastern Colorado struggles with big issues, such as conservation versus exploitation of nature, the interdependence of humans and animals, and race as eight-year-old Jeff ping-pongs between two families, one white, one black.
“Gage is a peerless judge of human nature. Wry, funny, forgiving, she reminds us at times of John Barth, Katherine Anne Porter and Sherwood Anderson. Her little Putneyville is big enough to encompass every human vice and virtue, and reading its fables and foibles, we recognize these people — and then perhaps we blush.” — Michael Carr, editor of multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times best-sellers
Order The Putneyville Fables from Amazon.
Read an excerpt here: EXCERPT_PUTNEYVILE FABLES
The Wind Came Running (Plain View Press, 2010) is a coming-of-age story. Through the eyes of Cassie, who is five at the outset of the novel, we experience the daily dramas of the fictional Cato, Oklahoma, amid the seismic shifts of the Depression, the Dust Bowl and Okie migration, race relations and World War II.
“A work of historical fiction that will prove very hard to put down.” — Midwest Book Review
“Gage shows deep insight into small-town psychology, and her writing sings with authenticity, humor, and quiet pathos. Her story will sweep you up and carry you along on a warm Oklahoma wind, then put you down gently at the end well satisfied by a finely told tale.” — Cynthia Leslie-Bole, Writer
Order The Wind Came Running from Amazon.
Read an excerpt here: Cassie Visits Lally’s farm
Maybe my mother put me to bed too early, but I started making up stories and dramas when I was a very young kid in order to get to sleep. I would invent intricate plots with multiple characters, most often female. One would have brown hair, one would be blond, another dark-haired. That’s basically what …
Part of my inspiration for this novel came from my interest in Aesop’s Fables and, in fact, my liking for all sayings, adages, proverbs, and quotations. Each chapter of Putneyville is headed by one of Aesop’s Fables, one appropriate to the action to follow. My mother used sayings constantly in daily life, so I was …
Most of my adult life was spent working as an artist; that is, when I wasn’t busy being a wife and mother. My transition to writing was a gradual one, beginning with fiction classes at University of California Extension classes in Berkeley. The transition is not yet complete, but I find that the gratification I …
Marianne is available for interviews and personal appearances. To schedule, please complete and submit this form.