Gerda Charles was the pseudonym of Edna Lipson (14 August 1914 – 4 November 1996), an award-winning Anglo-Jewish novelist and author. She was born in Liverpool and spent her early years there. Her father died when Edna was a year old, throwing the family into poverty. At the age of 15, Edna moved to London with her mother. Together, they ran a boarding house while she continued her education through evening classes.
Lipson published her first novel The True Voice in 1959. A Slanting Light, her third novel, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1963. She met further success with the publication of The Destiny Waltz which won the inaugural Whitbread Novel of the Year award in 1971. Lipson worked as a journalist and reviewer for various newspapers such as the New Statesman, Daily Telegraph, New York Times and Jewish Chronicle. She also edited an anthology of modern Jewish short stories.
Edna Lipson never married and lived with her mother until the latter's death in 1981. Much of their lives were spent in loneliness and economic hardship. Lipson died on 4 November 1996.
She is regarded as one of the chroniclers of the Anglo-Jewish experience, alongside writers such as Emanuel Litvinoff, Bernice Rubens, Bernard Kops and Arnold Wesker. Her posthumous papers reside in a collection at the University of Reading library. The collection consists of miscellaneous literary papers, with periodicals, press cuttings and personal correspondence. Tel Aviv University also inaugurated an award called the Gerda Charles Award.
- The True Voice (1959)
- The Crossing Point (1961)
- A Slanting Light (1963)
- A Logical Girl (1966)
- The Destiny Waltz (1971)
- Modern Jewish Stories (1963)
- Great Short Stories of the World (1976)
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize (1963) - A Slanting Light
- Whitbread Prize, Best Novel (1971) - The Destiny Waltz
- "Papers of Gerda Charles". University of Reading.