Book Release: The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter

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Robinson's fascination with this little-known pet soon grew into a profitable business, forcing him to lead a double-life during his three-year stint as a Navy commander at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (training officers during the day and studying gerbils in a tiny basement storage room at night). When Holly's father eventually retired from the Navy, he focused all his energies and enlisted the help of his wife, in-laws, and his children, into expanding his new hobby. The family moved to a rundown New England farmhouse and spent months fixing it up and building new additions to the property. Within a year of moving to Massachusetts, the Robinsons had everything necessary to start peddling gerbils on a large scale. Eventually, the farm housed thousands of gerbils in a sprawling complex of Sears prefab buildings, all hand built by the family. Holly and her little brothers were hired as employees of the gerbil farm and spent summers weaning gerbils, cleaning cages, and getting the animals ready to ship to various educational and scientific institutions. Through the years, the family added more animals to the mix. All in all, the farm housed goats, sheep, peacocks, hens, geese, turtles, parrots, horses, dogs, cats, and, of course, about 8,700 gerbils, with 2,700 new gerbils being born every week!

THE GERBIL FARMER'S DAUGHTER is the quintessential American story about a man who longs to make it on his own-and succeeds-and the struggle of a young woman to find normality amid all the furry chaos around her.

About the Author
Holly Robinson has been writing feature articles, essays, and advice columns for national magazines on health, science, and psychology topics since 1995. Prior to that, Robinson worked as a science writer at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and received the American Medical Writers Association's Will Solimene Award for Excellence in Science Writing. Robinson holds a B.A. in biology from Clark University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She lives in northern Massachusetts with her husband and their five children. For more information, visit her online at