Dorothy Gilman

in The United States
June 25, 1923

February 02, 2012



Dorothy Gilman started writing when she was 9. At 11, she competed against 10 to 16-year-olds in a story contest and won first place. Dorothy worked as an art teacher and telephone operator before becoming an author. She wrote children’s stories for more than ten years under the name Dorothy Gilman Butters and then began writing adult novels about Mrs. Pollifax–a retired grandmother who becomes a CIA agent. The Mrs. Pollifax series made Dorothy famous. While her stories nourish people’s thirst for adventure and mystery, Dorothy knew about nourishing the body as well. She used to live on a farm in Nova Scotia, where she grew medicinal herbs. Her knowledge of herbs comes through in many of her stories, including A Nun in the Closet, in which ...more

Average rating: 4.07 · 79,218 ratings · 5,553 reviews · 70 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifa...

4.15 avg rating — 19,704 ratings — published 1966
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The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax (...

4.15 avg rating — 6,789 ratings — published 1970 — 25 editions
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The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax (...

4.14 avg rating — 5,191 ratings — published 1971 — 2 editions
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A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax (M...

4.13 avg rating — 4,785 ratings — published 1973 — 2 editions
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Mrs. Pollifax on Safari (Mr...

4.13 avg rating — 4,579 ratings — published 1976 — 19 editions
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Mrs. Pollifax on the China ...

4.12 avg rating — 3,755 ratings — published 1983 — 15 editions
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Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirl...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3,257 ratings — published 1990 — 13 editions
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Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong ...

4.02 avg rating — 3,538 ratings — published 1985 — 20 editions
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Mrs. Pollifax and the Golde...

3.97 avg rating — 3,151 ratings — published 1988 — 16 editions
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Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tou...

4.04 avg rating — 2,781 ratings — published 1997 — 13 editions
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More books by Dorothy Gilman…
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax Mrs. Pollifax on Safari Mrs. Pollifax on the China ... Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong ...
(14 books)
4.09 avg rating — 68,461 ratings

The Clairvoyant Countess Kaleidoscope
(2 books)
3.96 avg rating — 3,246 ratings

“In the morning when Mrs. Pollifax awoke she realized at once that a fateful day was beginning. She lay and thought about this dispassionately, almost wonderingly, because to every life there eventually came a moment when one had to accept the fact that the shape, the pattern, the direction of the future was entirely out of one's hands, to be decided unalterably by chance, by fate or by God. There was nothing to do but accept, and from this to proceed, doing the very best that could be done.”
Dorothy Gilman, The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

“Once upon a time, [the guru] said, when God had finished making the world, he wanted to leave behind Him for man a piece of His own divinity, a spark of His essence, a promise to man of what he could become, with effort. He looked for a place to hide this Godhead because, he explained, what man could find too easily would never be valued by him.
"Then you must hide the Godhead on the highest mountain peak on earth," said one of His councilors.
God shook His head. "No, for man is an adventuresome creature and he will soon enough learn to climb the highest mountain peaks."
"Hide it then, O Great One, in the depths of the earth!"
"I think not," said God, "for man will one day discover that he can dig into the deepest parts of the earth."
"In the middle of the ocean then, Master?"
God shook His head. "I've given man a brain, you see, and one day he'll learn to build ships and cross the mightiest oceans."
"Where then, Master?" cried His councilors.
God smiled. "I'll hide it in the most inaccessible place of all, and the one place that man will never think to look for it. I'll hide it deep inside of man himself.”
Dorothy Gilman, A Nun in the Closet

“I wasn't offering her pity," Mrs. Caswell said impatiently. "Tragedies don't interest me, tragedies and heartbreaks are all alike, what matters is how a person meets them, how they survive them. Given the inevitability of losses and disappointments in life, that's where the challenge is and the uniqueness. I was offering her sympathy.”
Dorothy Gilman, Incident at Badamya

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