January 21, 1923 - September 12, 1997
We'll miss you ...
Biographical ... Awards & Honors ... Contact Info
Books ... Short Stories ... Edited Works ... Radio Documentaries
... Critical Studies, Documentaries, Etc.
Born Josephine Judith Grossman, on January 21, 1923, in New York, to Schlomo S. and Ethel Hurwitch Grossman. She attended City College (now City College of the City University of New York) 1939-1940, and got a BA from Rochdale College in 1970. She worked as a research assistant from 1943-47, then became editor at Bantam Books, New York, from 1947-1949. Her career really took off from 1949-1968 as she did freelance editing in the field of science fiction. She taught workshops and courses on writing and science fiction since 1963, at institutions including University of Toronto, Sir George Williams University, and Trent University. Merril was a founding member of the Science Fiction Research Association, and had many other involvements, including Voice of Women, Mensa, the Futurians, the Hydra Club (founding member), 21 McGill Women's Club in Toronto (founding member); Elves, Gnomes & Little Men Chowder & Marching Society (honorary member); Witchdoctors' Club (New York, member of Witch's Auxiliary). She has lived in Toronto for several years. Merril attended WisCon (the feminist science fiction conference) in May, 1996, as Guest of Honor and read from her memoirs to the great delight of those present. Judith Merril passsed away on Friday, September 12, 1997.
Merril is well known for works such as those collected in Daughters of Earth, and equally if not better known for her editorial work. One of her best-known short stories, "That Only a Mother" (1948), dealt with issues of nuclear power and maternal love. Concern about nuclear power, weapons, and war was an increasingly common theme in science fiction throughout the late 40s and 50s, but Merril handled it with a twist that got the attention of many. And, of course, motherhood and parenting were (and still are) sorely under-addressed in science fiction. Merril was a giant among science fiction, and proof that women have always made important contributions to the literature.
Survivors: Merril Zissman, daughter from first marriage; Howard MacDonald, son-in-law & married to Merril Zissman; Ann Pohl, daughter from second marriage.
Agent: Virginia Kidd, Box 278, Milford, Pa. 18337
Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award, 1983.
1996 SFWA Author Emeritus.
1996 WisCon XX Guest of Honor, with Ursula K. Le Guin
Ernest Hamilton, Rose Sharon, Eric Thorstein; Cyril Judd, a joint pseudonym with C. M. Kornbluth
These pages are edited and maintained at http://www.feministsf.org by Laura Quilter. Created 9/17/97. Updated 5/11/99, lq.
We welcome your comments, suggestions,
and offers of assistance.
Please be patient while waiting for us to get back to you.
about | credits | disclaimer | faq | feedback | privacy
These pages are edited and maintained at http://www.feministsf.org/ by Laura Quilter.
updated 06/13/07 .